United Nations: India has firmly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir will remain an integral part of the country and criticised Islamabad for using terrorism as a “tool of state policy” to covet the Indian territory.
India strongly hit back at Islamabad for raking up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a UN forum on culture of peace, saying Pakistan is “well-known” for providing safe havens to terrorists and cloaks its designs in the garb of concern for justice and self-determination.
In a reply to Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi who raised the Kashmir issue during a debate yesterday, senior Indian diplomat Srinivas Prasad said Islamabad has used “terrorism as a tool of state policy” and was using the UN platform to “covet Indian territory”.
Lodhi had brought up the issue of Kashmir at the forum, saying there are long standing cases where historic injustices wait to be corrected and where people are still denied their fundamental right to self-determination.
“May I remind our neighbour that Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India. It is time that Pakistan too reconciles to this. As a democracy India always abides by the choice of the people and will not allow it to be undermined by terrorists and extremists,” Prasad said.
Prasad tersely responded saying, “A culture of peace, not only symbolises peace in the larger context, but in terms of inter-state ties is also a value built on good neighbourliness, mutual respect and non-interference”.
“It is ironic, that our neighbour Pakistan well-known for providing safe havens to terrorists and using terrorism as a tool of State policy has used this platform to yet again covet Indian territory, cloaking its designs in the garb of concern for justice and self-determination,” he said.
Pakistan, which has regularly raked up the issue of Kashmir at the UN, did so again at the culture forum which comes just about 10 days before the annual high-level UN General Assembly (UNGA) session is set to begin at the world body’s headquarters.
Pakistan’s leaders have consistently used the UNGA podium to internationalise the Kashmir issue even as its efforts have found no international backing.