Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi said no talks will be held with Pakistan at the cost of India’s integrity.
“Pakistan is the global epicentre of terrorism and continues to be the source of terrorist activities including in India. Pakistan continues to make no investment in human development but provides their resources for creating and sustaining infrastructure of terrorism,” the minister of state for external affairs said while attending the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan.
Lekhi said the menace of cross-border terrorism which has been financed, morally and politically supported by some states has affected India for decades.
Lekhi’s remarks came after Pakistan prime minister Shehbaz Sharif who was also in Astana for the CICA meeting said that the Indian government ‘committed atrocities’ in Jammu and Kashmir and put the onus on India for dialogue and diplomacy.
Lekhi said that Pakistan needs to immediately cease anti-India cross border terrorism and take steps to dismantle the terror infrastructure that it has built.
“It will do well to stop the grave and persistent human rights violations in Pakistan occupied Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh (PoJKL); refrain from effecting any further material changes in the status of PoJKL; and vacate the Indian territories that are under its illegal and forcible occupation,” she further added.
She said Pakistan should get on the better side of law and order, after which they can have a conversation with India. The minister pointed out that Pakistan finds itself amid several problems because of their own mistakes which includes cross-border terrorism. Lekhi also lambasted the Pakistani political leadership for raising bilateral issues in multilateral forums.
She said she found it unfortunate that Pakistan chose to misuse the CICA platform to propagate false propaganda against India during the forum’s meeting. She said Sharif’s comments were in violation of the CICA Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States of September 1999.
“The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal affairs,” she further added.
She advised the neighbour to walk the talk and create a conducive atmosphere and told them to taking ‘credible, verifiable and irreversible actions’ to not allow its soil to be used for cross border terrorism against India.
The CICA is a forum which works for promoting peace, security and stability in Asia where members believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation
(with inputs from Shalinder Wangu)
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