Pakistan plans to petition ICJ on Kashmir

Islamabad/Washington: After its diplomatic overdrive on Kashmir got no traction, barring support from all-weather ally China, Pakistan on Tuesday said it will take the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice.

"An in-principle decision has been taken to take the issue of Kashmir to the International Court of Justice," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told ARY News TV.

Pakistan's move comes after US President Donald Trump called up "two good friends" -- Modi and Imran Khan -- urging them to work towards reducing tensions on Kashmir.

He also advised Pakistan to "moderate its rhetoric with India as he underlined the need for both sides to exercise restraint and avoid escalation of the "tough situation" in the region.

Trump's counsel to Khan came as Prime Minister Modi, during his telephonic converstion with the US president, conveyed that the "extreme rhetoric and incitement" to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace. This is the second telephonic conversation Trump has had with Khan in less than a week.

Trump said in a tweet: "Spoke to my two good friends, Prime Minister Modi of India and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, regarding trade, strategic partnerships and, most importantly, about working towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations.’’

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that PM Khan has urged President Trump to play a role in addressing the Kashmir situation.

"It was constructive engagement and Prime Minister Khan urged President Trump to play a role in addressing the situation in Kashmir," Qureshi told the media in a late night interaction on Monday.

SAUDI LINK: The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman also spoke with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the Kashmir situation.

The Monday night phone call comes a fortnight after Khan had called up the Saudi Crown Prince to inform him about India's move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

However, despite Khan calling up every country's leader, including Muslim majority ones, no country has come out in support, barring China.

By Lalit K Jha

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