Russia on Wednesday asked Pakistan to bilaterally resolve its dispute with India over Occupied Kashmir.

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This message was given to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi when he telephoned his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to apprise him of heightened tensions between Pakistan and India after the latter revoked autonomous status of the occupied territory through a presidential order. Mr Qureshi’s outreach was part of the diplomatic efforts aimed at garnering support at the United Nations Security Council, whose president has been requested by Pakistan to convene an emergency session for deliberating on the escalation in the situation after the Indian move.

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Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council. Although there has lately been improvement in relations between Moscow and Islamabad because of regional developments, Russia still remains a strong Indian ally and had supported Indian position after it annexed Occupied Kashmir last week.

According to a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry, Mr Lavrov, during the conversation, “emphasised the need to de-escalate tensions and to have no alternative to resolving differences between Pakistan and India on a bilateral basis by political and diplomatic means”.

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