New Delhi: Cutting across party lines, leaders of various political parties on Friday criticised Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for raising the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and said that all issues between the two Asian neighbours have to be addressed bilaterally.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nalin Kohli said it reflected that Pakistan was not at all serious as far as resolving the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was concerned.
"It is not very encouraging in terms of Pakistan being serious to resolve the issue. Even when the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) extended his hands for friendship, they chose to talks to separatists. There is a difference between what they say and do," Kohli told ANI here.
"Pakistan can't always divert the attention from its problems by raising the Kashmir issue. Kashmir is an integral part of India," he added.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi echoing similar sentiments said that Pakistan raised this issue to divert the attention from its internal disasters.
"This is Pakistan's habit. Everyone knew this beforehand. His statement should be ignored," he said.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar on his part said that it is an old tactic of Pakistan.
"When there are internal problems, they raise the Kashmir issue to divert the attention.... It is the matter between two countries. It can be solved through bilateral talks only," he said.
Addressing the UNGA in New York earlier today, Sharif said that his nation was disappointed at the cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks with India and called on the international community to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We need a new approach to eliminate conflict and we will continue to work for promotion of human rights. We want to build a friendly neighbourhood by pursuing a policy of constructive engagement. We were disappointed by the cancelled talks of Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan. Many generations of Kashmiris have lived in violence and the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved," Sharif said.
India had cancelled the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries last month after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit held talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi.