India should restore special status of J&K for meaningful talks on Kashmir: Cheng Xizhong

BEIJING, April 18 (APP):India should restore original special status of Jammu and Kashmir, withdraw its military and security forces from Jammu and Kashmir to pave way for peaceful and meaningful negotiations for settlement of Kashmir issue.

These views were expressed by Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law and former Defense Attaché in South Asian countries said on Sunday.

Pakistan has long been committed to resolving all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir dispute, with India through peaceful and meaningful negotiations.

However, despite the strong opposition of the international community and regional countries, India unilaterally scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019, stripped Jammu and Kashmir of special status, and downgraded Jammu and Kashmir from statehood to union territory status.

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As a result, the peaceful settlement of the Kashmir issue has lost its basis, which has worsened the relations between India and Pakistan, and seriously damaged peace and stability in South Asia, he said in a statement issued here.

In his opinion, whether India and Pakistan can resume dialogue and normalize relations depends on the following three conditions:

First, India deeply reflects on what it has done in recent years, quickly corrects its mistakes, and restores original special status of Jammu and Kashmir by legal procedures.

Second, India withdraws all the military and security forces from Jammu and Kashmir that are being deployed to suppress Kashmiri people, immediately stops serious violations of human rights and gives the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination.

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Third, India completely abandons regional hegemonism and deals with its relations with its South Asian neighbors, including Pakistan, in an equal manner.

Cheng Xizhong welcomed the statement of Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson in which he said that Pakistan had always underscored the need for a meaningful dialogue on all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are fully agree with what the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson said. Moreover, I think Pakistan’s position of normalizing relations with India is sincere, reasonable and very constructive,” he added.

He said that India and Pakistan are the two major powers in the South Asian subcontinent, because of the long-standing Jammu and Kashmir dispute, they have been hostile to each other for decades.