India slams Pakistan for raising Kashmir issue at CICA meet
- Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue during the ministerial meeting of CICA
- India asked Pakistan to stop its sponsorship and support to terrorism against India
- India said Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of the country
India on Thursday, slammed Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issues at a virtual meeting of multilateral grouping Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and advised Islamabad to cease its "overt and covert" support to cross-border terrorism.
Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue during the ministerial meeting of CICA, which is an intergovernmental forum of 27 countries. The Ministry of External Affairs, in a sharp response, said Pakistan has misused another forum by continuing its "spurious narrative" about India.
According to the MEA, Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on internal affairs of India. It asserted that the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of the country.
Responding to the remarks by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the MEA said, "Pakistan's remarks today constitute gross interference in India's internal affairs, sovereignty and territorial integrity which is inconsistent with the CICA Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA Member States of September 1999."
The MEA added, "We advise Pakistan to cease its sponsorship and overt and covert support to terrorism against India. This will enable the two countries to engage and address issues bilaterally rather than distract this important forum from its agenda."
In his address at the CICA meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who represented India at the meeting, called for greater collective efforts to counter terrorism and its sponsors.