Pakistan sees risk of 'accidental war' over IOK

GENEVA: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has warned that the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) risked sparking an “accidental war”, and urged UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to visit the troubled region.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Qureshi said he believed both Pakistan and India “understand the consequences of a conflict.”

But with tensions soaring since New Delhi revoked IOK’s autonomy last month, he warned that “you cannot rule out an accidental war.”

“If the situation persists… then anything is possible,” Qureshi said.

India imposed a military clampdown on IOK from August 5 to prevent unrest as New Delhi revoked the occupied region’s autonomy. Mobile phone networks and the internet are still cut off in all but a few pockets.

Qureshi, who on Tuesday appealed to the Human Rights Council to launch an international investigation into the situation in IOK, told reporters he had spoken with Bachelet and had invited her to visit both IOK and Azad Kashmir.

“She should visit both places and report as objectively as she can so that the world knows what the true… situation is,” he said.

The foreign minister said Bachelet had said she “was keen to visit”.

Qureshi, meanwhile, ruled out the possibility of bilateral talks to resolve the tensions.

“In this environment and with the mind-set that we see in New Delhi today, I do not see any room for a bilateral engagement,” he said, adding that a multilateral forum or a third-party mediator would likely be needed.

“If the US plays a role, that can be important because they have a considerable influence” in the region, he said.

FM Qureshi addresses UNHRC in Geneva, says Kashmir not an internal affair of India

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