India rejects Pakistani reference on Kashmir

United Nations-Exercising its right of reply, India has twice rejected Pakistan’s contention that President Asif Ali Zardari’s reference to Jammu and Kashmir in his address to the UN was not ‘unwarranted’.

“We are exercising our right of reply in response to the gratuitous references from the delegation of Pakistan about the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir, which is and has always been an integral part of India,” Vinay Kumar, minister at the permanent mission of India said.

“It is ironical that these comments have been made by a country which is persisting with its illegal occupation of a part of the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. These references constitute a clear interference in the internal affairs of India and we reject them in their entirety,” he said in his reply, a second time after Pakistan again raised the issue.

Earlier, reacting to External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna’s assertion in his address to the UN that Kashmir was an integral part of India, the Pakistani mission to the UN contended that Zardari’s statement on the issue was “not unwarranted”.

Exercising its right of reply to Krishna’s comments Pakistan’s Deputy Permanent Representative Raza Bashir Tarar said: “Let me also make absolutely clear that Jammu and Kashmir is neither an integral part of India nor has it ever been.”

Tarar cited Zardari’s address to the UN last week in which he had said Pakistan would continue to support the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to peacefully choose their destiny in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions on the matter.

“The president of Pakistan said no more, no less,” he said.

In his address, asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, Krishna took umbrage at Pakistan making an “unwarranted” bid to raise the issue at the United Nations.

“An unwarranted reference has been made to Jammu and Kashmir from this podium,” he said referring to Zardari’s comments.

“Our principled position on the issue has been consistent and is well known,” he said asserting “The people of Jammu and Kashmir have chosen and reaffirmed their destiny repeatedly through India’s well established democratic processes.”

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.” —IANS