New Delhi: India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir matter saying it’s “typical of Pakistan” to use multilateral platforms–SAARC and CICA, “to raise bilateral and contentious issues”. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said this is “inconsistent with the principles and charter of such organizations and their meetings” but “what else can be expected of a country that indulges in cross-border terrorism as a part of its state policy”.
Two meetings of foreign ministers of SAARC and Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures (CICA) were held and at both the meetings Pakistan Foreign Minister raised the Kashmir issue. While at CICA it was direct mentioning, at SAARC it was by diplomatic usage of words by recalling UNSC resolutions.
At SAARC External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar without mentioning Pakistan’s name listed out the challenges faced by the region. He listed cross border, obstructionism for connectivity and trade as main challenges for SAARC, in all of which Islamabad has a major role to play.
On CICA, MEA in its right of reply said, “Pakistan has misused another forum by continuing its spurious narrative about India” and “the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal affairs”.
Interestingly, Pakistan also raked Kashmir at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and got a strong rebuttal by India. Vimarsh Aryan, India’s First Secretary at the United Nations in Geneva speaking at the council said, “In these extraordinary times of pandemic when everyone is putting on a mask for the safety and protection of fellow human beings, Pakistan, unfortunately, is using another kind of pernicious mask to masquerade as a champion of human rights that it itself violates egregiously by torturing and persecuting minorities.”