Free Press Journal

India rejects Raheel’s remark on Kashmir


New Delhi:  India Saturday termed as unwholesome and unacceptable Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif’s comment that Kashmir was Islamabad’s “jugular vein” and said Islamabad’s security forces were well advised to address challenges from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other radical elements.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said in a statement that the Pakistan Army chief had referred to issues that were firmly in the past.

“He has mentioned Kashmir in a manner which is unwholesome and unacceptable. I think that these are matters that, frankly it is not for me to advise them but, are best left to bilateral discussions between civilian authorities. This is not the realm of the armed forces to be discussing publicly,” Khurshid said.

The minister said all political parties in India have categorically repudiated whatever has been said from Pakistan.

“The common position in our country is that Kashmir is an integral part of our country, it is part of the idea of India, and there can be no remotest way in which we will accept any attempt to qualify that or to put a question mark on that. That should be categorically clear,” Khurshid said.

Khurshid said Pakistan has difficult challenges today to face from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who obviously have their masters — the Al Qaeda.

“I think the army in Pakistan and the armed forces and security forces there would be well advised to address the challenges that come from TTP and other unwholesome forces that are attacking civilians in Pakistan and causing innocent people hurt and of course enormous amount of anxiety,” he said.

The minister said armed and security forces in Pakistan would be best serving their country if they address this problem and provide security to their own citizens rather than reaching out and trying to create confusion in the entire subcontinent.

“This is a very very carefully worded advice which one would not give in normal circumstances because both the tone and tenor of the speeches that have been made are completely and totally unacceptable to us,” Khurshid said.

Raheel Sharif, addressing a ceremony at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, Wednesday said Kashmir was an international dispute regarding which United Nations resolutions existed. He said the resolutions were crucial for peace and stability in the region.