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We Reject Islamabad's Obsession with Territorial Aggrandisement: MEA on Pak's New Map

File photo of V Muraleedharan

File photo of V Muraleedharan

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the government continues to respond "appropriately" to Pakistan's malicious actions and propaganda, including on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, at various international forums.

The government on Thursday said it has rejected Pakistan's "obsession" with "territorial aggrandisement" supported by cross border terrorism, in a reference to Islamabad unveiling a new political map laying claim to Indian territories. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the government continues to respond "appropriately" to Pakistan's malicious actions and propaganda, including on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, at various international forums. He was replying to a written question on the issue in Rajya Sabha.

Pakistan released the new map on August 4 laying claim to union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and parts of Gujarat. "Government has rejected Pakistan's obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross border terrorism," Muraleedharan said in the written reply, calling release of the map by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as "absurd". "It has also been emphasised that Pakistan should desist from laying untenable claims to Indian territories, which have neither legal validity nor international credibility," he said.

Replying to a separate question on suspension of work visas like H1B by the Trump administration, he said India is engaged with Washington and the US Congress on the issue. The minister said the decision may temporarily affect movement of Indian skilled professionals who avail non-immigrant visa programmes of the US.

"Government of India closely consulted all stakeholders and engaged with the US administration and Congress on issues related to movement of Indian professionals, including those pertaining to the H-1B programme," Muraleedharan said. "These issues were also raised during the India-US Foreign Office Consultations held virtually on July 7. We have emphasised that this is a mutually-beneficial partnership which should be nurtured by easing mobility of skilled professionals," he said.


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