Pak envoy says Kashmir should be resolved as per aspirations of Kashmiris; India calls it ‘inteference in internal affairs’
NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, on Thursday, once again raised Kashmir issue while expressing Islamabad’s desire to have good relations with India, riling New Delhi which termed Basit’s remarks as interference in “our internal affairs”.
“Issue of Jammu and Kashmir must be resolved as per aspirations of Kashmiris,” Basit said while speaking on Pakistan Day event in New Delhi.
Basit also said that Pakistan has always tried to maintain good relations with its neighbours and they want good relations with India too.
“We hope that we will be able to solve our differences and issues especially the Kashmir issue,” the Pakistan envoy said.
He also extended support for the Kashmiri resistance leaders, saying their struggle is for the freedom
“Struggle for freedom of Kashmiri people will one day succeed by the grace of god,” he was quoted as saying by a news channel.
Meanwhile, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain too stressed on the need for talks between the two neighbours.
“Pakistan was ready to hold talks with India on all issues, including Kashmir,” Hussain said during the country’s annual military parade to mark the country’s National Day.
‘Interference in our internal affairs’
In a prompt reaction, India said Basit’s remarks “contravened diplomatic protocol to the point of being considered interference in the country’s internal affairs”.
“We have seen media reports about Pakistan High Commissioner’s remarks today regarding the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. They are not in keeping with diplomatic niceties and are tantamount to interference in our internal affairs,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in an official statement.
Baglay also advised Pakistan to address the “challenge of terrorism emanating from Islamabad, which has adversely affected peace and stability in the entire neighbourhood”.
Pakistan has to vacate PaK, Gilgit-Baltistan: Singh
The only issue of dispute between India and Pakistan as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned is the “illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan by Pakistan”, minister in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said.
Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Singh said, “Today if there is any issue between India and Pakistan on J&K, it is only the illegal occupation by Pakistan, whether it is Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) or Gilgit-Baltistan”.
He also added, “How it can be freed from Pakistan’s occupation and made a part of the Indian republic… that is the only issue now”.
Singh said India’s position has been clear for many years now and in 1994, a resolution (on the issue) was also passed in Parliament which all political parties had supported.