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Deeply Regrettable, Says India After Imran Khan's Kashmir Outreach During Kartarpur Ceremony

The Ministry of External Affairs said Jammu and Kashmir was an "integral and inalienable" part of India.

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Updated:November 28, 2018, 8:27 PM IST
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Deeply Regrettable, Says India After Imran Khan's Kashmir Outreach During Kartarpur Ceremony
The Ministry of External Affairs said Jammu and Kashmir was an "integral and inalienable" part of India.
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New Delhi: India on Wednesday termed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Kashmir reference during the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor “deeply regrettable” and said he chose to politicise a pious moment.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Jammu and Kashmir was an "integral and inalienable" part of India.

"It is deeply regrettable that the Prime Minister of Pakistan chose to politicise the pious occasion meant to realise the long pending demand of the Sikh community to develop a Kartarpur corridor by making unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India," the ministry said.

It called upon Pakistan to fulfil its international obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kinds of support to cross border terrorism from territories under its control.

Noting that Kashmir remains a sore point between the two nations, Imran said: “The only issue between us is Kashmir, all it needs is just two capable leaderships to resolve this issue. Just imagine the potential we have if our relationships get strong.”

Earlier in the day, rejecting Pakistan’s SAARC invitation, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Hyderabad that there will be no dialogue with Pakistan unless it desists from terrorist activities against India.

She also said the Kartarpur corridor initiative -- connecting Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev's final resting place in Kartarpur to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district -- was not linked to the dialogue process with Pakistan.

"That invitation has already been given. But we are not responding to it positively. Because, as I said, that unless and until Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in SAARC," Swaraj said at a press conference.

The Pakistan prime minister laid the foundation of the Kartarpur corridor linking two revered gurdwaras on either side of the border at a ceremony attended by India's Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri as well as Punjab minister Navtoj Singh Sidhu.

The much-awaited corridor between Kartarpur in Pakistan and Gurdaspur in India will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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