India claims Kashmir as ‘integral part’, but says ready to talk to Pakistan to settle problems bilaterally

India claims Kashmir as 'integral part', but says ready to talk to Pakistan to settle problems bilaterally
UNITED NATIONS,  Aug 03 (APP): Indian Ambassador to the U.N., T.S. Tirumurti, Monday repeated claims that Jammu and Kashmir was an “integral and inalienable” part of India, but said that his government was prepared to discuss with Pakistan any issues and to resolve them bilaterally and peacefully as provided under the 1972 Simla agreement.
In utter disregard to the Security Council resolutions that call for no alteration in the status of Jammu and Kashmir until the resolution of the decades-old dispute, the Indian ambassador repeated New Delhi’s old mantra; “I think it’s important to recognize that the issues relating to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are internal affairs of India.”
He was speaking at a press conference in his capacity as the president of UN Security Council president for the month of August.
Ambassador Tirumurti was responding to questions about India’s commitments under the Security Council resolutions that provide for a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as also about New Delhi’s action to illegally annex the disputed territory on August 5, 2019.
The Indian envoy glossed over UNSC resolutions, but tried to justify what he called were Constitutional changes in the status of Jammu and Kashmir that were brought through established parliamentary procedures. “So any change or modification to article 370, like any other provision of the Constitution, is the sole prerogative of the Parliament of the Republic of India.”
His argument was challenged by a Pakistani journalist who said that the Security Council resolutions also call for no alteration in the status of Jammu and Kashmir until the resolution of the decades-old dispute, pointing out that even Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had said so in his August 8, 2019, statement on the Indian action to end the autonomous status of Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir.
“As I told you, Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India,” the Indian envoy said in reply to APP correspondent’s question, asserting what needs to be changed is the “vacation of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.”

Indian oft-repeated claim comes two days after a group of 16 European parliamentarians letter to the European Commission on the “humanitarian situation” in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), calling it “yet another demonstration of the global censure” of India’s human rights violations in the valley.

Sixteen European lawmakers had addressed a letter on Friday to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell, urging the European Union to raise its voice on human rights violations in IoK and take action.

“We believe that the EU should use all its leverage and tools to cooperate with our Indian and Pakistani partners to honour the pledge made to the Kashmiris by the international community and create an environment conducive to the implementation of the United Nations resolutions,” the letter said.

The Indian Ambassador urged Pakistan to “follow through” on its commitments under the 1972 Simla agreement. on this, and implement the provisions of this agreement.
Ambassador Tirumurti said negotiations should be conducted in an atmosphere “free of terror hostility and violence, and therefore right now, the onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible and verifiable action, not to allow any territory under their control to be used for cross-border terrorism against India and Pakistan must prove its consistency between its words and its actions.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan had categorically stated that Pakistan would not talk to India till it reverses its decision to abrogate Article 370 of its constitution, giving “special status” to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

By Shafek Koreshe

A Senior Journalist serving as Director Digital News for the Associated Press of Pakistan; with 30 years experience in covering major national, international news stories, well-traveled; covered summits, conflict zones and special assignments.

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