The European Union Parliament on Wednesday called on India and Pakistan resolve Kashmir issue bilaterally. This is the second time since 2008 that the European Parliament General Assembly has discussed the issue. Tensions are high between India and Pakistan after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories on August 5.
EU Minister Tytti Tuppurainen said 'no one could afford another escalation in Kashmir.' Freedom of movement and means of communication should be fully restored as well as access to all essential services, she said. Tuppurainen also added that the EU will continue to closely monitor the situation in the region.
On August 30, During External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Brussels, the EU had released a statement stressing “the importance of steps to restore the rights and freedom of the population in Kashmir…The High Representative reaffirmed the EU’s support to a peaceful solution to the crisis in Kashmir through bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan”.
Earlier, the European Union urged India and Pakistan to avoid escalation of tensions over Kashmir. In a statement the Union said, “reiterated the call to avoid an escalation of tensions and stressed the importance of steps to restore the rights and freedoms of the population in Kashmir”.
After the August 5 order, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India. Islamabad had demanded that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) set up a commission to look into what it termed as “Indian brutality" in the region.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.