ISLAMABAD    -Saudi Arabia has urged both Pakistan and India not to escalate tension and resolve the Kashmir issue peacefully.

Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday briefed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the deteriorating situation in Kashmir and the threat to regional, peace.

“Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, received a telephone call from Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan,” an official statement issued in Riyadh said.

“During the call, they discussed the latest developments in the region and the Crown Prince was briefed by the Pakistani Prime Minister on the latest developments in Kashmir,” the statement added.

In an earlier phone call with the Saudi royal on August 7, PM Khan had discussed India’s move to scrap Kashmir’s special status following New Delhi’s decision to do away with Article 370 on August 5.

Government officials told The Nation that the Saudi Crown Prince urged the need to ensure peace. “The Prince said the Kashmir issue should be resolved through talks and escalation should be avoided,” said an official.

The Prince, another official said, emphasised that the region cannot afford a war and promised to use his influence in India to ensure peace.

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister Didier Reynders of Belgium to brief him on the current situation in Occupied Kashmir.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the illegal and unilateral steps taken by the Indian Government to change the disputed status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and its demographic structure, said a foreign ministry statement. He added that these steps were in contravention of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and the International Law.

Qureshi underscored that India had progressively reneged on its commitments to the Security Council, other states, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.

The Foreign Minister underlined that the actions taken by India entailed grave risk for peace and security in the region.

He highlighted the severe hardships faced by the people of the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the face of unprecedented lockdown of the entire population.

The Foreign Minister apprised him on the worsening situation of basic human rights, safety and security of the people in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under curfew.

Foreign Minister Reynders expressed concern on the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said further escalation would have severe impact on the peace and security in the region. He reaffirmed his readiness to remain engaged with a view to playing a facilitative role. “The two leaders agreed to continue to work together for peace and stability in the region,” the statement added.