New Delhi|Aug,8:Expressing concern, Saudi Arabia on Thursday called for a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir issue, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions. Malaysia also underlined the need to respect the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions related to J&K.In their measured response, these two countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) did not take sides. Earlier, two other OIC countries — UAE and Maldives — backed India, saying that its decision on J&K was an “internal issue”.“While expressing its concern over the latest developments, the Kingdom affirms that the settlement of the conflict is through peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and calls on the parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region and to take into account the interests of the people of the region,” said the Saudi statement.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad expressed hope that India and Pakistan would exercise “utmost restraint” to prevent further escalation. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday briefed Mahathir on the situation.Meanwhile, two powerful Democratic lawmakers in the US asked Pakistan to refrain from any “retaliatory aggression” against India and to take “demonstrable action” against terrorist groups within its territory.Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Eliot Engel, in a joint statement, also expressed concern over the restrictions in J&K. Menendez is a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while Engel is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.“Pakistan must refrain from any retaliatory aggression, including support for infiltrations across the Line of Control, and take demonstrable action against the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil,” they said.Expressing concern over the detentions and restrictions in J&K, they said that “India has an opportunity to demonstrate for all its citizens the importance of protecting and promoting equal rights, including freedom of assembly, access to information, and equal protection under the law…”
A media report quoted a US State Department spokesperson as saying that Washington was “closely following” the issue, and noted “the broader implications of these developments, including the potential for increased instability in the region”. “The European Union asked India and Pakistan to re-open dialogue through diplomatic channels. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, also reiterated the EU’s stance of backing a bilateral solution between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.“The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region,” the EU said in a statement.