Iran has urged Pakistan and India to avoid any reckless moves in the Kashmir dispute that could escalate into a direct military confrontation and be devastating for the entire region.
“Military approaches in this region will further complicate the situation,” Iran’s armed forces chief, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, told his Pakistani counterpart, Qamar Javed Bajwa, during a phone conversation on Saturday. The commander also urged the parties to maintain calm and avoid making any “hasty decisions.”
Tensions have been running high in Jammu and Kashmir since Monday, when New Delhi revoked a constitutional provision (Article 370) that allowed the territory to have its own flag, constitution, and autonomy over its internal administration.
Turning the Indian-administered Kashmir from a state to a federally controlled territory will help end decades of terrorism and separatism incited by Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated earlier this week. To reinforce its sovereignty and to prevent potential acts of terrorism and violence, India sent some 35,000 troops to the region.
In response, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with New Delhi and suspended trade and train links with its neighbor.
Kashmir, with a predominantly Muslim population, has been the center point of contention between India and Pakistan ever since they gained independence from Britain in 1947. Three wars have been fought over the Himalayan region in the last 40 years, but they have failed to change the boundaries or control of the state.