China said today that it was willing to play a “constructive role” in improving relations between India and Pakistan, especially after the increased hostility along the LoC, saying the situation in Kashmir has attracted “international” attention. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said India and Pakistan are important South Asian countries but the “situation in Kashmir has attracted the attention of the international community.” India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter with Pakistan, and that there is no scope for a third party mediation. The Chinese comments aimed at getting involved in Indo- Pak tensions come at a time the armies of India and China are locked in a standoff in Doklam area in the Sikkim section. Expressing concern over the tension between India and Pakistan, Geng said “the conflict occurred near the Line of Control of Kashmir. This will not only harm the peace and stability of the two countries but also the peace and tranquillity of the region.” “We hope the relevant sides can do more things that are conducive for peace and stability in the region and avoiding escalating the tensions and China is willing to play constructive role in improving relations between India and Pakistan,” he told reporters. The comments also come two days after a Chinese analyst wrote in the state-run Global Times that a “third country’s” Army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request, using the “logic” the Indian Army used to stop the Chinese military from constructing the road in Doklam area. Geng’s comments were in reply to a question on the tension between India and Pakistan, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressing concern over the situation in Kashmir, and whether China can play role to defuse the hostility between the two countries.
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According to Pakistan Foreign Ministry, the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, who met in Abidjan, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, passed a resolution on Kashmir. Indian security forces have been carrying out combing operations in parts of Kashmir to clear the areas of militants supported by Pakistan who launch attacks against them. On Monday evening, militants targeted a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims and killed seven of them, including six women, in Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and Pakistani national Abu Ismail has emerged as the mastermind of the audacious attack.