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‘External Forces, Including China, Meddling in Kashmir’, Says Mehbooba Mufti

Levelling the first major accusation against China of intervening in the Kashmir dispute, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said Beijing has “now started to interfere” in the affairs of the Valley. The statement of Mehbooba came after her meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital. The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the volatile situation prevailing in the state, along with the threat posed by militants in the region of South Kashmir.

“The law and order issue does not stems from Kashmir alone. External forces are meddling into this. The infiltration from across the border is resurrecting militancy in the Valley,” Mehbooba said. “We have to resist all attempts made by external forces to create disturbance in Kashmir. Unfortunately, even China is now interfering,” the J&K CM further added.

Mehbooba also condemned the muted response adopted by China on Amarnath terror attack, which claimed the lives of 7 pilgrims and injured 15 others. “All countries condemned the Amarnath tragedy. It is surprising that we didn’t hear anything from China,” she told news agency ANI.

The PDP chief also condemned Beijing for turning a blind-eye to the terrorism perpetrated on Indian soil from Pakistan. “The way they should condemn the cross border terrorism, it hasn’t been done by China,” she was quoted as saying.

The remarks of Mehbooba comes in the backdrop of Beijing threatening to interfere in J&K dispute, in retaliation to the role played by Indian Army in Doklam. An article in China’s state publication Global Times said India would face the “risk of Beijing’s intervention in J&K” since it “chose to meddle in Doklam”, a territorial dispute between China and Bhutan.

“If the Pakistani government requests, a third country’s army can enter the area disputed by India and Pakistan, including India-controlled Kashmir,” the nationalistic tabloid stated.

After sabre-rattling against India through the state-run press, China made another pitch on Kashmir on Wednesday, proposing to play ‘constructive role’ in the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan.

“We hope the relevant sides can do more things that are conducive for peace and stability in the region and avoiding escalating the tensions and China is willing to play constructive role in improving relations between India and Pakistan,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang was quoted as saying by PTI.

The mediation offer, however, was outrightly rejected by India, which said all disputes with Pakistan, including territorial issue of kashmir, would be resolved in a bilateral manner. “As far as the intervention offer coming from any third party, India has reiterated its stance very clearly – All issues to be discussed with Pakistan, including Kashmir, would be done under a bilateral framework,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said, further adding, “The heart of the matter is cross border terrorism perpetrated on India, including on J&K.”

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