A day after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) across the Line of Control (LoC) and gunned down 38 terrorists and nine Pak military personnel (who were safeguarding them), China urged both India and Pakistan to curb rising tensions by resolving outstanding issues through mutual consultations.
In response to the surgical strikes, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying that Beijing was seriously concerned about the confrontation and the two nuclear powerful neighbours should exercise restraint.
As India-Pakistan crisis deepens, China also snubbed (its friend)Pakistan by contradicting Pakistani media reports that Beijing would back Islamabad’s stand on the “Kashmir” issue.
A couple of days ago, the Pakistani media quoted a press release from the Lahore Office of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, saying that Chinese Consul General Yu Boren recently pledgedBeijing’s support “in case of any foreign aggression”. According to the Pakistani media, Yu also said that China “will be siding withPakistan on the Kashmir issue”.
However, senior spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang rubbished the Pak media reports, stressing: “I am not aware of the situation you mentioned. China’s position on the relevant issue is consistent and clear. As a neighbour and friend to both Pakistan and India, we hope the two countries will properly address their differences through dialogue and consultation, manage and control the situation, and jointly work for the peace and stability of South Asia and the growth of the region.”
Geng further assured the international community that China would try hard to normalise relations between the two South Asian rivals. He told the press that the Asian giant was in constant touch with both the countries through different channels in order to bring down tensions. “China is friendly neighbour to India and Pakistan. Chinahopes that both the countries could properly deal with their differences dialogue and consultant and improve their bilateral relationship, strengthen co-operation in different fields and work jointly for regional peace and development and stability,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, India has welcomed China’s stand on the Kashmir issue, saying that the third party involvement would only deteriorate the situation. Foreign policy experts believe that China, which is determined to establish dominance over the South China Sea, will be in no mood to get involved in Indo-Pak affairs. Instead, Beijing will encourage India to change its stance on South China Sea disputes by not interfering in the Kashmir issue.
Although Islamabad rubbished the Indian Army’s claim that it carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC on September 28 night, Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif indirectly accepted the Indian Army’s claim on Friday by saying that Pakistan is also capable of executing surgical strikes. The premier also termed “Indian aggression” as a threat to the entire region, stressing that Islamabad would take all necessary steps to protect its people and territorial integrity.
Indian foreign policy experts are of the opinion that it is not possible for Pakistan to officially accept India’s claim because the acceptance would mean accepting the fact that terrorists exist and breed happily on their territory. Admittance would also mean acceptance of the fact that the Pak Army was caught unawares and that they could not intervene and stop the Indian Army operation at the right time, especially when their Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif had gone public with a nuclear threat with much bravado. Even after giving shelter to Osama bin Laden, Pakistanbelieves that the international community will accept its argument that the Sharif government takes necessary actions against terrorists. If there was no surgical strikes in Pakistan on September 28 night, then what prompted Prime Minister Sharif to chair a “special Cabinet meeting” on Thursday (for reviewing the security situation in the country) and to summon the Indian envoy to Islamabad.