Kashmir Not Part Of India: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: As the tensions mount along the military Line of Control dividing Kashmir between two nuclear armed neighbours, Pakistan today said the Kashmir dispute remained a “core issue” with India, claiming it was “unfortunate” that the Indian leadership continued to refer to Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of the country.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office, in a statement, expressed “disappointment” at External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s remarks on the status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The statement said the “Kashmir dispute is the core issue that remains unresolved between the two countries”.

“It is unfortunate that Indian leadership continues to refer to the state of Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India, when the reality is clearly otherwise,” it said.

After Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sought US intervention to settle the Kashmir issue over the weekend, Khurshid made it clear that no one should question Kashmir’s status as an integral part of India.

“It is a waste of time for anybody, no matter how eminent, to be even trying to question it,” Khurshid said. He said the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter as agreed to by the two sides.

Sharif’s remarks on Kashmir came ahead of a meeting with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Without naming the Simla Agreement, the Foreign Office said India, as a member of the UN, should not overlook or undermine numerous Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir issue.

“While bilateral agreements may exist, the sanctity of the UN resolutions cannot be understated,” it added.

The Kashmir dispute is a fundamental component of the bilateral dialogue process and resolving this dispute is vital for peace and security in the region, the Foreign Office said.

“India’s continued intransigence over this issue is counterproductive and is unhelpful in the efforts to resolve this dispute,” it said.

Pakistan remains committed to a purposeful, constructive and result-oriented dialogue with India and believes serious efforts are needed to maintain a positive atmosphere and “avoid negative propaganda”, the statement added. Agencies

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