India’s reaction to Germany call for UN role in J&K dispute is sharp and swift – Michael Kugelman, Director, South Asia Institute

India on Saturday took a strong note of comments made by German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, backing the role of the United Nations in resolving the Kashmir dispute and said all conscientious members of the global community must call out international terrorism, especially of a cross-border nature.

“German has a role and responsibility concerning the situation of Kashmir,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had said after bilateral talks with her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Berlin on October 7. In conversation with The Quotes, Michael Kugelman, Director of the South Asia Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, said Annalena’s comment on the J&K tussle is ‘quite unprecedented.’

“The idea to internationalize the Jammu & Kashmir issue suggesting a third nation needs to play a role in the bilateral tussle between India and Pakistan is very rare. Senior Western officials rarely publicly express a desire for the Kashmir issue to be internationalized. Therefore, I must congratulate Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his team for letting the German counterpart comment on the J&K issue,” Kugelman said.

Sharing his observation over India’s sharp criticism of the comments made by German Foreign Minister, Mr Kugelmann added that India’s reaction is ‘sharp and swift’, which does not come as a ‘surprise given the matter’s sensitivity.’

“I don’t think even Germany will change their stance after its Foreign Minister made such a comment. I was not even surprised with India’s reaction as New Delhi has repeatedly reiterated its stand on Jammu & Kashmir dispute.”

New Delhi has also stated that United Nations Security Council and the Financial Action Task Force are still pursuing Pakistan-based terrorists involved in the 26/11 attacks. “When states do not recognize such dangers, either because of self-interest or indifference, they undermine the cause of peace, not promote it,” Bagchi added. While speaking with the media, Zardari claimed peace in South Asia would not be possible without the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute following the UN resolutions and taking into consideration the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

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After India and Pakistan signed the 1972 Simla agreement, New Delhi consistently stated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute which has to be resolved bilaterally, without any role of a third party. India has also stopped recognizing the role of the UN in Kashmir for several decades, refusing to engage with the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) stationed in both countries.

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