India hits back at Pak for Kashmir comments

Last Updated: Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 09:49

New Delhi: India on Friday hit back at
Pakistan rejecting as "gratuitous" its statements on Jammu and
Kashmir, saying they amounted to interference in the internal
affairs of the country.

It asked Islamabad to take effective action against
infiltration from across the LoC and dismantle terror
infrastructure there as it is the people of the state who
suffer from the consequences of terrorism fomented from across
the border.

Reacting sharply to Pakistan Foreign Minister S M
Qureshi asking India to "exercise restraint" in the state,
Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Vishnu
Prakash said "India firmly rejects gratuitous statements
issued by Pakistan on Jammu & Kashmir, which amount to
interference in the internal affairs of India.

"Pakistan should take credible and effective action
against infiltration from across the Line of Control and
dismantle the terror infrastructure that exists in the
territory under its control.

"This would be an important contribution towards
safeguarding the welfare of the people of J&K, who suffer the
consequences of terrorism fomented from across the Line of
Control and the International Border."

He also said that as a vibrant democracy, India has
sufficient mechanisms and constitutional safeguards to address
issues raised by its citizens in any part of the country.

Claiming that Pakistan will "continue to stand by the
Kashmiris in their just cause", Qureshi said "Gross and
systematic abuse of human rights ... in Kashmir must end.

Pakistan calls upon the Government of India to exercise
restraint."

The Pakistani minister said his country has taken
"serious note of the deteriorating situation" in Jammu and
Kashmir. "The indigenous movement in (Jammu and Kashmir) has
gained a new momentum and urgency. The Kashmiris are unanimous
in their demand for self-determination," he said.

Qureshi said Pakistan condemns the alleged "blatant"
use of force by Indian security forces against the protesters.

Today`s statement by Qureshi is being seen as an
attempt by Pakistan to step up pressure on Kashmir ahead of
UNGA where it may try to rake it up.

Reiterating India`s commitment to resolve issues of
mutual concern with Pakistan through dialogue and peaceful
means", Prakash said however, Pakistan must fulfil its solemn
commitment of not allowing territory under its control to be
used for terrorism directed against India in any manner.

"This would be in the interest of Pakistan and of the
international community," the Spokesperson said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 09:49

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