Friday, February 23, 2024

Germany walks back on J and K after India’s rebuke

Germany's foreign minister Annalena Baerbock

Germany has issued a clarification on its comment on the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month.

Germany’s envoy to India, Dr Philipp Ackermann, has said that his country’s position on Kashmir has not changed.

On 6 September, Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, mentioned Kashmir during a press conference alongside Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Berlin.

“I truly believe that every country in the world has a role and responsibility for solving conflicts…Germany also has a role and responsibility with regard to the situation of Kashmir. Therefore, we support intensively the engagement of the United Nations to find the peaceful solution in the regions,” Baerbock had said at the presser.

On 8 September, India issued a strong-worded statement against the comment, asking Germany not to ignore the dangers of terrorism.

“When states do not recognise such dangers, either because of self-interest or indifference, they undermine the cause of peace, not promote it. They also do grave injustice to the victims of terrorism,” the unusually strong statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.

“All serious and conscientious members of the global community have a role and responsibility to call out international terrorism, especially of a cross-border nature,” the MEA had said.

In the statement, New Delhi reminded Berlin that the United Nations Security Council and the Financial Action Task Force “are still pursuing Pakistan-based terrorists involved in the horrific 26/11 attacks.”

Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Jammu and Kashmir have borne the brunt of Pakistan’s terrorist campaign for decades.

“Foreign nationals have been victims there [Kashmir], as also in other parts of India,” the MEA spokesperson added.

India has long argued that the Kashmir issue—Pakistan’s illegal occupation of Indian territory—would be resolved bilaterally and that Islamabad agreed to this condition when it signed the Simla Agreement in 1972.

Germany has walked back from the comments after a rebuke from India.

“Minister underlined that bilateral path is way forward. When she referred to UN, what one can say is that there’s UNMOGIP in Kashmir & that’s where we see UN in Kashmir conflict,” the German ambassador has said.

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