France presses India to opt for dialogue on occupied Kashmir issue

Published August 23, 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a joint statement at the Chateau of Chantilly, near Paris, France on August 22. — REUTERS
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a joint statement at the Chateau of Chantilly, near Paris, France on August 22. — REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron has met with India's prime minister, discussing climate and other concerns ahead of the G-7 summit but also pressing for dialogue with Pakistan over the crisis in occupied Kashmir.

The meeting on Thursday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was part of a marathon day of diplomacy for Macron, who is touching base with key countries before the weekend summit in Biarritz. Modi will be a special guest there.

Read more: US urges India to free detainees, restore rights in occupied Kashmir

Macron told him Paris was keeping an eye on the Kashmir region, AFP reported.

France would “remain attentive to ensure the interests and rights of the civilian populations are properly taken into account in the territories on both sides of the (Kashmir) ceasefire line”, Macron said.

Macron met earlier on Thursday with new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Greece's prime minister.

Macron said he stressed the need for India and Pakistan to resolve differences bilaterally and avoid an escalation.

On Aug 5, Modi downgraded the autonomy of Muslim-majority occupied Kashmir and sent thousands of troops to the region. Modi made no mention of Kashmir in his statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had expressed hope that France would "play its due role to ensure peace and stability in the region".

Qureshi said this after a telephonic conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The foreign minister had apprised his French counterpart of the "grave risk to peace and security in the region" stemming from the steps taken by India.

He had urged France "to impress upon India to lift the curfew and ameliorate the hardships and sufferings of the people" in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

The French foreign minister had said that France "was extremely concerned at the situation and urged both sides to engage in a bilateral dialogue". The French minister had underscored the need "to ensure that there was no further escalation". He impressed upon the fact that France would have the same message for India.

Later in the same day, a French official had said that French President Macron would discuss tensions in the divided region of Kashmir with Indian Prime Minister Modi when the two meet in Paris.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also weighed in on Kashmir on Tuesday telling Modi in a phone call that the issue was one for India and Pakistan to resolve between themselves through dialogue.

Opinion

Editorial

Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...
Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...