Kashmir issue: Pak demands US intervention, India says don`t lose sleep over it
Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta
New Delhi: Objecting sharply to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s statement on seeking US intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday said no third party has the right to interfere in this matter.
During an interview to a TV news channel, Khurshid said, "There is no way in which India will accept any intervention on an issue that is entirely accepted in the Simla Agreement as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan."
"Kashmir is an integral part of India and no one should raise a question on that. It is a waste of time for anybody no matter how eminent to be even trying to question it," he added.
Responding on Pak`s hint at seeking US intervention on Kashmir issue, the External Affairs Minister said, "India will not accept any intervention."
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is on a three-day official visit to Washington where he is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama, said that during his US visit in July 1999 at the time of the Kargil conflict he had clearly told then US president Bill Clinton that if the US intervened the Kashmir issue could be resolved.
"I told him if he spends 10 percent of the time he was spending on the Middle East, the Kashmir issue between the two countries would be resolved," Sharif said during a stop-over in London on Saturday while on his way to Washington.
Sharif added, "For the last 60 years both sides were entangled in an arms race. The situation can become dangerous. India has nuclear bomb, so do we; India develops missiles, so do we. There should be a limit to it. We all should think about it."
In response to the above remarks made by the Pak PM, Salman Khurshid said, "We should not lose sleep over it."
About Sharif`s comments on nuclear weapons, Khurshid said, "This is not new. We should concentrate on the important thing that the elements of dialogue that have been obstructed, that have been undermined and slowed down because of the events that have happened at the Line of Control on the border."
Further, while responding on whether the ceasefire has collapsed, Khurshid said, "I don`t think that is true. There are many violations. It is a large number of small armed fires. It is unacceptable and certainly counter-productive. But I don`t think we can at this point say that ceasefire has collapsed. That would not be a correct assessment of the situation."
"But I think that it is important that Pakistan show good conduct and compliance to the 2003 ceasefire act," he added.
On the repeated ceasefire violations, he said, "It is of course a problem and we need to take it more seriously. But the Army is well prepared. This is an area that is best left to the Army.
"Of course, it is an upsetting inconvenience. I think we will be able to handle it. As long as we have no casualties, the violations remain an irritant. The casualties add to the tragedy and the pathos and I hope that we will not see any more casualties."
On the straining of relations with China on issue of stapled visas, Khurshid said India does not accept stapled visas.
"We don`t accept stapled visas. We certainly don`t accept anyone assuming or saying or establishing a case that parts of Indian territory actually belongs to them... China or any other country," he said.
The Minister said the Indian perception is totally different from that of China on this issue, but added "the issue of Arunachal Pradesh needs to be addressed before the larger issue of bilateral visa regime."
On US economic aid to Pakistan, the external affairs minister added, "Whatever aid United States gives to Pak must not be of nature that is detrimental to our strategy and interests. I hope this is done keeping India`s interests in mind as US always assures us."
With PTI inputs
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