We respect India’s stand on Article 370, hoping for peace and stability in Kashmir: Australian envoy Harinder Sidhu

Australian High Commissioner to New Delhi Harinder Sidhu. Image Credit: Deccan Chronicle

Like many other countries around the globe, Australia has also extended support to India’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Expressing respect for India’ decision, the Australian High Commissioner to New Delhi Harinder Sidhu said on Friday that India’s decision to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir is the country’s internal matter, and stressed that the Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally by New Delhi and Islamabad.

Speaking to ANI Sidhu said, “The Indian government said this is its internal matter. We respect the Indian position on that. Australia’s long-held view on Kashmir has been that it should be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan.”

Expressing hope that the region would become peaceful and subsequently there would be economic growth in the valley, she added, “We do hope as situation proceeds in Kashmir that it will be stable, peaceful and, in fact, that economic development eventuates. We do hope that both countries act in restraint and consider the safety and security of the people in the process.”

On August 5 India decided to repeal Article 370, which would end the special status for Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two Union Territories.

Rattled by the decision, Pakistan approached the United Nations and various other countries but was shunned by all. After the UN snubbed Pakistan by refusing to comment on the issue terming it as ‘bilateral’, countries like Afghanistan, the UK, France Russia and eventually America followed the suit.

Though America has often offered to ‘mediate’ between India and Pakistan after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the recent G7 summit categorically rejected any scope of third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Trump on his part agreed that the issues between India and Pakistan over Kashmir was a ‘bilateral’ matter.

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