Kashmir integral part of India, no decision yet on talks: MEA

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that it has been conveyed to Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

Updated: Aug 18, 2016, 17:56 PM IST
Kashmir integral part of India, no decision yet on talks: MEA

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday reaffirmed the government's position on Kashmir and said Pakistan has no “locus standi” on the issue, making it amply clear it won't tolerate any external interference.

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that it has been conveyed to Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

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

Earlier today, Pakistan had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed the "red line" by talking about Balochistan and asserted that it will "forcefully" raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session next month.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said "Prime Minister Modi brought up Pakistani atrocities on people of Balochistan and PoK in his Independence Day speech.

"It is the violation of the UN Charter...He (Modi) crossed the red line by talking about Balochistan."

Asked whether Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will attend the upcoming 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 on August 25-26 in Islamabad.

Earlier this week, official sources had said that Jaitley may not visit Pakistan due to "political reasons".

"You all know what happened last time and what is happening," a source had said, referring to Home Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Islamabad earlier this month, which was also for a SAARC Ministerial meeting.

Barbs were exchanged between Singh and Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who only had a tense and uneasy handshake during the SAARC meeting.

Pakistani authorities did not allow entry of Indian mediapersons, including those from PTI and Doordarshan, inside the venue of 7th SAARC Home Ministers Meeting in Islamabad.

Singh had informed Rajya Sabha that after the meeting was over, Pakistan's Home Minister, who was the host, invited the participants for lunch but left in a car soon thereafter.

"Keeping in mind the country's prestige, I did what I should have done. I have no complaints. I had not gone there for lunch," he had said.

India had yesterday rejected Pakistan's proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir and made it clear that terrorism was "central" to its relations with Islamabad, whose different view and attitude has made it difficult for bilateral ties to grow.

Referring to the concerns of human rights violations Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Swarup said the government would do whatever it can, “after all the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir is also our people.”

He said, “Pakistan not allowing the UN human rights team to visit PoK is I think a message in itself.”

“Ball is in Pakistan's court now, they made an offer, we responded to it. Now up to them to reply,” he added.