India on Wednesday slammed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for referring to Jammu and Kashmir during his speech at the opening ceremony of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference hosted by Pakistan. Calling it an “uncalled reference”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the matters related to the union territory are “entirely the internal affairs of India” and other countries including China have “no locus standi to comment” on it.
India’s rejection of Wang’s remarks came in amid hectic consultations between the two sides over a possible visit by him to New Delhi in the next two days.
Issuing an official statement, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We reject the uncalled reference to India by the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his speech at the Opening Ceremony. Matters related to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir are entirely the internal affairs of India. Other countries including China have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from the public judgment of their internal issues.”
Our response to media queries on reference to Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir made by Chinese Foreign Minister in his speech to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Pakistan:https://t.co/0VrVAR9tOT pic.twitter.com/pxvhD9G3Vm
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) March 23, 2022
The MEA was responding to media queries on the comments by Wang. “On Kashmir, we have heard again today the calls of many of our Islamic friends. And China shares the same hope,” Wang said at the OIC meeting.
PAK AGAIN RAKES UP KASHMIR ISSUE
On Tuesday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan again raked up the Kashmir issue at the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting in Islamabad, saying the 57-member body has not been able to make any impact at all as it’s a “divided house”. Khan’s comments came at a time when he is facing the toughest political test since assuming office in 2018 as a no-confidence motion has been introduced by the opposition parties against his government.
“We have failed both the people of Palestine and Kashmir,” Khan said in his keynote address at the 48th Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC at the Parliament House here as he sought to raise the issues of Palestine and Kashmir in the same breath. “We are a divided house and they (Israel and India) know it, he said.
India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of the country. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda. India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.
Referring to India’s move to abrogate Article 370 in August 2019, Khan said “nothing happened because they (India) felt no pressure.” Khan said he was not saying that Muslim countries alter their foreign policies but unless we have a united front (on core issues) these abuses will keep on happening. Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019 and bifurcating it into two Union territories.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda. The OIC session is being attended by more than 600 delegates, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as a special guest.
Addressing the session after being elected as the chairman to 48th session of the OIC CFM, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also raised the Kashmir issue and alleged that Indian actions violate the resolutions of the UN Security Council and increased the threat of a conflict between India and Pakistan.
(with inputs from PTI)