Pak rules out military option in row with India over Kashmir
Islamabad to take Kashmir issue to UN Security Council
ISLAMABAD, Aug 8: Pakistan will not resort to military action in a row with nuclear arch-rival India over Kashmir, its foreign minister said on Thursday, as tensions soared over New Delhi's decision to tighten its grip on the disputed region.
The statement from Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi eased fears of an all-out clash between the South Asian neighbours, who have already fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region -- but none since they both gained nuclear weapons.
On Monday Delhi stripped the Indian-held portion of Kashmir of its special autonomy, bringing it under its direct rule and deepening animosity with Pakistan, igniting days of debate over how the country should respond.
"Pakistan is not looking at the military option. We are rather looking at political, diplomatic, and legal options to deal with the prevailing situation," said Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a press conference in Islamabad.
Tensions remained high, however, with Qureshi's comments coming on the heels of a decision by Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic ties with India, suspend bilateral trade, and expel the country's envoy.
Pakistan has also promised to take the matter to the United Nations Security Council, while its military says it "firmly stands" with Kashmiris.
Delhi has dismissed Pakistan's "alarmist" reaction and warned against interfering in what the foreign ministry insisted was "entirely the internal affair of India".
The diplomatic clash came as a petition was filed with the Supreme Court by an activist challenging the curfew in Kashmir, which was imposed to suppress any unrest in response to the loss of autonomy. -AFP