World, Middle East

Iran urges India-Pakistan dialogue over Kashmir

India scrapped special status granted to disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir

Iran urges India-Pakistan dialogue over Kashmir Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi (FILE PHOTO)


Iran on Wednesday called on India and Pakistan to pursue dialogue over the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir.

On Monday, India scrapped the special status granted to the Muslim-majority region which allowed it autonomy in exchange of joining the Indian union after independence in 1947.

The provision allowed Jammu and Kashmir to enact its own laws and disallowed outsiders to settle and own land in the territory.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran “is closely monitoring the Indian government’s recent decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, and is carefully listening to the explanations provided by the Indian and Pakistani officials for the recent developments”.

“Iran expects India and Pakistan, as its regional friends and partners, to take effective steps to serve the interests of people of the region by adopting peaceful approaches and dialogue,” he said in statements cited by Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

Since 1947, Jammu and Kashmir have enjoyed special provisions to enact their own laws. The provisions also protected their citizenship law, which disallowed outsiders to settle in and own land in the territory.

The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

Since they were partitioned, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

Thousands of people have been killed in the on-going conflict in the territory since 1989, according to figures by international human rights organizations.

*Ahmed al-Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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