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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

China silent on Pak minister’s statement to send special envoy to New Delhi, Islamabad

China on Monday refused to comment on Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi’s statement that Beijing was preparing to send a special envoy to Islamabad and New Delhi to mediate in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

world Updated: Mar 04, 2019 19:08 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions during a news conference in Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions during a news conference in Beijing. (REUTERS)
         

China on Monday refused to comment on Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi’s statement that Beijing was preparing to send a special envoy to Islamabad and New Delhi to mediate in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack and rising tension between the two nuclear-powered neighbours.

Qureshi was widely quoted in Pakistani media over the weekend as saying that China had decided to appoint and send a special envoy to meet the Indian and Pakistani leadership to ease tensions.

The Pakistani minister didn’t give a timeframe but the surmise was that the Chinese envoy would visit the two capitals soon.

India has consistently maintained that the dispute over Kashmir is a bilateral issue and that there’s no need for a third party to intervene or mediate.

Also read | Russia, Pakistan, US, others condemn Kashmir attack

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson didn’t comment on Qureshi’s claim and instead responded in broader terms, saying China was always ready to help.

Asked about Qureshi’s remarks, spokesperson Lu Kang said: “As to your question, like we said before, we really hope India and Pakistan, both important countries in South Asia, can resolve the relevant issues through friendly consultations and negotiations.”

“In order to ease the tensions, China has maintained close communication with both India and Pakistan. Whatever is conducive to regional peace and stability, China will try to do that, and we will continue to do so,” Lu said at the regular ministry briefing on Monday.

In reference to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov saying Russia is also ready work with India, Pakistan to ease the tension, Lu said: “We welcome all the efforts that are conducive to easing tensions and promoting peace and stability in this region.”

Also read | India gets support from Russia and China in combating terror

To a separate question about the reported remarks by Lavrov that the counter-terrorism mechanism under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) could be a forum where India-Pakistan issues could be discussed, Lu said he had seen the reports.

“We encourage anything as long as it is conducive to promoting the peace and stability in this region and easing tensions. We will encourage anything to this end,” he said.

The Russian news agency TASS reported on March 1 that Lavrov had a telephonic conversation with Qureshi on India-Pakistan tensions.