Shah chairs security meet
New Delhi/Islamabad, Aug 4: Pakistan on Sunday upped the ante on Kashmir, with Prime Minister Imran Khan alleging use of “cluster bombs” by India on civilians along the LoC and appealing to the UN Security Council to intervene, while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi raised the matter with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
India has strongly denied any use of cluster bombs to target civilians along the Line of Control.
Amid the escalating tensions in Jammu and Kashmir, in the wake of the government asking tourists and pilgrims to cut short their visit to the state following intelligence inputs of terror threats, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday presided over a high-level security meeting in New Delhi.
In Islamabad, Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the powerful National Security Committee, where he alleged that India has used “cluster bombs” on civilians along the LoC and called on the UN Security Council to take note of the “international threat to peace and security”.
Imran Khan’s move comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump renewing his offer to mediate on the Kashmir issue, which India has firmly rejected.
India has firmly stated that any discussion on Kashmir, if warranted, will be only with Pakistan, and only bilaterally.
Besides Khan, the NSC meeting was attended by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other top officials.
Referring to Trump’s offer of mediation, Imran said in a series of tweets: “President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as [the] situation deteriorates there and along the LoC with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces,” and added, “This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi on Sunday contacted the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmed Al Othaimeen and discussed “increasing Indian aggression in Kashmir” with him, reported Radio Pakistan.
Earlier, Qureshi chaired an emergency consultative meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, and urged the international community and world human rights watchdogs to take immediate notice of the situation.
In New Delhi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Intelligence Bureau chief Arvind Kumar, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Samant Kumar Goel and senior Home Ministry officials attended the high level meeting chaired by Shah.
Additional Secretary (Jammu and Kashmir Division) Gyanesh Kumar separately briefed the Minister about the situation in Kashmir Valley.
Shah is reportedly planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir. This too was discussed, said a source.
The Home Minister was apprised about the situation on the border where some Pakistani soldiers were killed by Indian forces when they tried to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir on the night of July 31-August 1.
The Home Minister’s meeting, the abrupt axing of the Amarnath Yatra and the security build up has set off speculation about the Modi government’s next move in Jammu and Kashmir.