New Delhi: India was on Thursday dismissive of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s fresh letter to UN chief on Kashmir, saying any such move will not change the reality that part of Jammu and Kashmir is under Islamabad’s “illegal and forcible” occupation and that it has no locus standi to comment on internal situation in the Valley.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup also criticised Pakistan’s decision to send 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to highlight the Kashmir issue on different international forums and said it would have been better to send “one envoy with the right message to the right country,” indicating that Islamabad should have sent a representative here to discuss ‘cross-border terror’.
“They can write as many letters as they want, but this will not change the reality on the ground. The reality is that J&K is an integral part of India and part of J&K is under the illegal and forcible occupation of Pakistan.
“As far as internal situation in J&K is concerned, we believe Pakistan has no locus standi in commenting on that and we are perfectly capable of dealing with it,” Swarup said.
He was replying to a question on Sharif writing to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the second time in a month seeking his intervention for sending a fact-finding mission to probe human rights violations in the Valley.
On Sharif’s decision to send envoys to various countries to highlight the Kashmir issue, he said the message has to be one of stopping support to ‘cross-border terrorism’, ending incitement to violence in Jammu and Kashmir and putting an end to interference in India’s internal affairs.
“Sending out 22 envoys is not going to make their baseless and untenable claims legitimate. Instead of sending 22 Envoys with the wrong message to the wrong countries, it would have been better to send one Envoy with the right message to the right country,” he said.
Asked about China-Pakistan economic corridor, Swarup said it passes through India’s sovereign territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan and that “India would obviously have concerns about any project there happening with third party collaboration”.
On the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment that Pakistan was also a victim of terror, the MEA Spokesperson said India did not say it was not.
Asked about Sharif criticising Modi’s remarks on Balochistan and PoK as unwarranted and in contravention of the UN charter, in his letter to the UN Chief, Swarup said the issue about people who are “oppressed and crushed” and raising it cannot be wrong.
He said the UN resolutions Sharif was referring to are a part of history, adding there was no point in digging it up and that one has to move on with the “new realities and new perspectives”.
“If talking about this is wrong, then many leaders of the world will have to stand in the dock….If we feel strongly about human rights violations happening in a particular part of the world, then we have every right to raise those concerns. We will raise those concerns, we have raised those concerns in the past also.
He said Shimla agreement and Lahore declaration of 1999 should be the framework under which India wants to move ahead with Pakistan.
On All India Radio enhancing services in Baloch language, he said, “Of course fresh services can be added or existing services can be augmented based on demand.”