The international community continued to treat the Kashmir dispute as a bilateral issue, and Pakistan’s effort to raise it in international forums have met with little success.
The world seems unmoved by the plight of the Kashmiri people who have remained virtually locked up in their homes for almost a month. Pakistan’s efforts to raise the issue in international forums have met with little success so far. The international community continued to treat the Kashmir issue as a bilateral one to be solved through dialogue between the two countries. Although President Donald Trump once again offered to mediate on the “explosive” Kashmir issue if asked by both countries, he has so far bowed to India’s wishes. Before attending the G-7 summit which began in France on August 24, Trump repeated his offer to mediate on Kashmir describing it as a “very complicated place” where Hindus and Muslims do not get along so great.
However, after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-7 summit, Trump confessed that Kashmir was a bilateral issue. He told the media that Modi had assured him that the situation in Kashmir “is under control.” Modi, on his part, emphasised that all issues between India and Pakistan were bilateral and could be resolved through discussions.
The Trump administration, and for that matter the West had it’s attention focused more on Hong Kong than on Kashmir. China had not bothered to send it’s military to Hong Kong. The two month old protest in Hong Kong had turned increasingly violent. Hong Kong is a global economic hub. In comparison, Kashmir is insignificant in the eyes of global elite.
All the same, the U.S. state department urged the Indian government to restore normalcy at the earliest in the Kashmir valley. “We urge respect for individual rights, obedience with legal procedures and an inclusive dialogue”, a state department official told the media in the third week of August. The Americans have once again urged India and Pakistan to hold direct talks to resolve the dispute on Kashmir.
Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the democratic front runners for the 2020 U.S. presidential election strongly criticised the Indian government’s handling of the situation in Kashmir. Speaking at the 56th Convention of the Islamic Society of America, Sanders said that India’s move to change the status quo in Kashmir was “unacceptable”. He demanded that the communication blockade in Kashmir be lifted and that the U.S. government speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law in Kashmir.
The United Nations Security Council has also adopted a heated attitude on the Kashmir issue. It has not called for a formal meeting or issued a statement. The U.N. has repeated it’s stance that it wants India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally. A closed-door private meeting of the 15 member Security Council was held in mid August at the request of China, which too has territorial claims on the disputed region. It was for the first time in more than 50 years that the Security Council held a meeting, although informal, on Kashmir.