India on Thursday asked China to avoid raising the Kashmir dispute at the United Nations Security Council, insisting it is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.
The government issued a statement Thursday, a day after China requested a review by the U.N. Security Council of the U.N. observer mission in Kashmir.
“China should reflect on a global consensus on Kashmir and avoid raising it at the United Nations,” India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.
Most countries on the 15-member council have urged India and Pakistan to cool the dispute and resolve it between themselves. But on Wednesday, China’s U.N. ambassador warned against further escalation of strife between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region and expressed hope that a Security Council meeting called by Beijing might help both countries seek a solution through dialogue.
Zhang Jun, whose country supports Pakistan, told several reporters after the closed meeting that China remains “concerned about the situation on the ground” in Kashmir.
“I’m sure the meeting will be a help in both parties to understand the risk of further escalation and encourage them to approach to each other and to have dialogue and to seek means to seek solutions through dialogue,” Zhang said.
Kumar said India has raised the matter with China in the past.
The latest flareup in conflict was sparked by a decision by India’s Hindu nationalist-led government to end the semi-autonomous status of Muslim-majority Kashmir on Aug. 5.
A harsh crackdown ensued, with New Delhi sending tens of thousands more troops to the already heavily militarized region, imposing a sweeping curfew, arresting thousands and cutting off virtually all communications.
Authorities have since eased several restrictions, lifting roadblocks and restoring landlines and cellphone services, but Internet service is yet to be restored in the Kashmir valley.
Also Thursday, India’s External Affairs Ministry said India will invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the 19th council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which will be hosted by India later this year.
“As per the established practices and procedures within SCO, all eight members of SCO as well as four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited (by India),” the ministry said.
India and Pakistan both became full members of the SCO in June 2017. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to promote multilateral economic cooperation.
By Ashok Sharma for the Associated Press. Additional reporting by Edith M. Lederer for the Associated Press.