Pakistan on Tuesday called on the international community to take “serious cognisance” of India’s “aggressive posturing” about taking “physical jurisdiction” of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying such “irresponsible and belligerent” statements from New Delhi have the potential to further escalate tensions and seriously jeopardise peace and security in the region.
Pakistan’s statement came hours after India said PoK is a part of it and one day it expected to have “physical jurisdiction” over the region. India also asserted that there was no need to “worry” too much beyond a point about what people will say on Kashmir, as it was an internal issue on which its position has “prevailed and will prevail.”
Addressing his first press conference after assuming office in the Modi 2.0 government in May, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also hit out at Pakistan, saying India had a “unique challenge” from one neighbour and it would remain a challenge until that neighbour became a “normal neighbour” and acted against cross-border terrorism.
Asked about remarks by some Union leaders that henceforth talks with Pakistan would be only about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and not on Kashmir, Mr. Jaishankar said, “Our position has, is and will always be very clear on PoK, that it is part of India and we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it.”
Reacting to Mr. Jaishankar’s statement, Pakistan said it called on the international community to take “serious cognisance of India’s aggressive posturing” on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “Such irresponsible and belligerent statements from India have the potential to further escalate tensions and seriously jeopardise peace and security in the region,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.
“We strongly condemn and reject the inflammatory and irresponsible remarks made by the Indian External Affairs Minister regarding Pakistan and PoK. These remarks are an obvious manifestation of India’s utter frustration over the continued international censure of its egregious human rights violations in Kashmir,” the statement added.
“India cannot divert international attention from its crimes against the innocent people of Kashmir blaming Pakistan. Pakistan stands for peace, but would be ready to respond effectively to any act of aggression,” the statement said.
“Instead of resorting to jingoistic rhetoric, India must rescind its illegal actions, stop forthwith grave human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, refrain from violating international law, and fully comply with UN Security Council resolutions for a final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” the statement further added.
Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan had downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”.