Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has warned that the situation in India occupied Kashmir risks sparking an “accidental war”, and urged UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to visit the troubled region.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council session, Mr Qureshi said he believed both Pakistan and India “understand the consequences of a conflict”. But with tensions soaring since New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy last month, he warned that “you cannot rule out an accidental war”. “If the situation persists… then anything is possible,” he said.
India had imposed a military clampdown on occupied Kashmir on Aug 5 to prevent unrest as New Delhi revoked the disputed region’s autonomy. Mobile phone networks and internet are still cut off in all but a few pockets.
Mr Qureshi, meanwhile, ruled out the possibility of bilateral talks to resolve the tensions. “In this environment and with the mindset that we see in New Delhi today, I do not see any room for a bilateral engagement,” he said, adding that a multilateral forum or a third-party mediator would likely be needed. “If the US plays a role, that can be important because they have a considerable influence” in the region, he said.