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Pak asks India to 'exercise restraint' in Kashmir

Needling India over the violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan today asked it to "exercise restraint" while expressing "unequivocal solidarity" with the Kashmiris.

world Updated: Aug 03, 2010 18:56 IST

Needling India over the violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan on Tuesday asked it to "exercise restraint" while expressing "unequivocal solidarity" with the Kashmiris.

In a statement that may raise hackles in New Delhi, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke about "escalation of violence against Kashmiri people".

"Pakistan is seriously concerned at the escalation of violence against Kashmiri people that has resulted in the loss of innocent lives. There is a need for the government of India to exercise restraint," he said.

The minister raked up the issue of "self-determination", saying Islamabad will extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.

"Pakistan expresses its unequivocal solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and shall continue to extend its political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their right to self-determination," he said.

Qureshi said the statement by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing "concern at the prevailing security situation" and the "deep concern and disappointment" expressed recently by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference reflected the "collective concern of the international community at the human rights violations" in Jammu and Kashmir.

His comments came despite the Indian government saying Ban's office has clarified that no question about Kashmir was raised at any press conference "nor was any such comment made by the UN Secretary General."