TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Wednesday urged India and Pakistan to adopt peaceful ways and engage in talks over a rising conflict on Jammu and Kashmir.
“Iran expects India and Pakistan, as its regional friends and partners, to take effective steps in line with the regional people’s interests through adopting peaceful ways and holding dialogue,” he said.
Mousavi added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely monitoring the recent decisions of the Indian government on Jammu and Kashmir and also attentively follow up the explanations presented by officials of India and Pakistan about the recent developments.”
According to Press TV, the lower house of the Indian parliament approved on Tuesday a controversial bill that strips the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir of its autonomous status.
The bill, which had already passed the upper house of India’s parliament, needs to be signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The measure had been introduced earlier this week by the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which announced that it was revoking Article 370, a constitutional provision that grants special status to Kashmir.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought two wars over the territory.
Experts have warned that the changes to Kashmir’s status could further inflame tensions in the already restive region.
Pakistan was quick to denounce India’s recent move as illegal, with Prime Minister Imran Khan saying he was weighing taking the matter to the United Nations Security Council.
The Pakistani military also said it would “go to any extent” to support people in Kashmir.
The two nuclear-armed states came close to war in February, when at least 40 paramilitary troops were killed in a bombing in Kashmir. New Delhi, which blamed Pakistan for supporting the militants behind the blast, launched retaliatory aerial raids inside Pakistani territory for the first time in decades.