'Infringement Of India’s Sovereignty...': India Raises Strong Objection Against British High Commissioner's Visit To PoK

'Infringement Of India’s Sovereignty...': India Raises Strong Objection Against British High Commissioner's Visit To PoK

The dispute arose following a recent visit by the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, Jane Marriott, to Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Saturday, January 13, 2024, 04:29 PM IST
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The Indian government has strongly condemned the controversial visit of the British High Commissioner in Islamabad, Jane Marriott, accompanied by a UK Foreign Office official, to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) on January 10, 2024.

In a statement released Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, ''Such infringement of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unacceptable. The Foreign Secretary has lodged a strong protest with the British High Commissioner in India on this infringement."

The dispute arose following a recent visit by the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, Jane Marriott, to Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). She defended her visit to the region contested by India, saying, “70 per cent of British Pakistani roots are from Mirpur, making our work together crucial for diaspora interests”.

“Salaam from Mirpur, the heart of the UK and Pakistan’s people-to-people ties! 70 per cent of British-Pakistani roots are from Mirpur, making our work together crucial for diaspora interests. Thank you for your hospitality!” she had written on X sharing pictures from her visit.

Similar controversy had erupted over US diplomat's visit

In October of the previous year, India expressed disapproval of the tour of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) by the US envoy, Donald Blome. Last month, photographs of the US envoy engaging with residents in PoK's Gilgit-Baltistan attracted attention in New Delhi, causing concern as India views the region as part of its territory.

The unease was further heightened because the US envoy's six-day visit was initially undisclosed. However, the US embassy in Islamabad later addressed the issue by sharing a series of tweets outlining the envoy's various engagements in the region.

Then MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had informed that the objections were conveyed to the US government.  “We have objections regarding the visit and the meetings in PoK by the US envoy and we have conveyed the same," he had said.

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