India rejects Pakistan’s offer for talks on Kashmir unrest

New Delhi: Reaffirming its position on Kashmir, India on Friday said that it will not tolerate any interference from Pakistan as it has no locus stands on the issue, categorically rejecting Islamabad’s invitation to hold talks on the ongoing unrest in the Valley.

“Pakistan has no locus stands in addressing any aspect of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to all cross-border terrorism, infiltration and support and instigation to terrorism and violence against India,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

He said that it has been conveyed to Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

“We are in touch with important interlocutors bilaterally as well as multilaterally to put across the correct picture. Let me also say it does not matter how many letters are written, it will still not whitewash cross-border terrorism. India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations. At this time they include a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism,” he added.

Referring to the concerns of human rights violations in Azad Kashmir, Swarup said the government would do whatever it can, “after all the people of Pakistan [administered] Kashmir is also our people.”

“Pakistan not allowing the United Nations’ human rights team to visit Azad Kashmir is I think a message in itself. The ball is in Pakistan’s court now, they made an offer, we responded to it. Now up to them to reply,” he stated.

Swarup also hit back at Islamabad’s “red lines crossed” comment and said, “Pakistan recognises no red lines in conduct of its own diplomacy.”

Pakistan had earlier said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed the “red line” by talking about freedom of Balochistan and said it will “forcefully” raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session next month.

Asked whether Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will attend the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in Islamabad, he said that no decision has been taken as of now.

“No decision has been taken yet on the level of our participation,” he said.

The conference is scheduled for August 25-26 in Islamabad.

India and Pakistan have been engaged in a war of words over the statements by Islamabad on the situation in Kashmir, which is witnessing unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani on July eight.


Courtesy Khaleej Times

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