- Shiv Sena leader calls for shutting down the Pakistan High Commission’s Office in New Delhi and the embassy in Mumbai
- Indian govt says liberating Pak administered Kashmir is the only outstanding issue with Islamabad
Following what India said were provocative statements by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Kashmir, the Shiv Sena on Sunday said that the high commissioner should be sent back to Islamabad within 24 hours. The Indian government also reacted strongly to Basit’s remarks on Kashmir’s “freedom”, saying the “only outstanding issue is how to liberate part of J&K which is under illegal occupation of Islamabad”.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut called for the shutdown of the Pakistan High Commission’s Office in New Delhi and the embassy in Mumbai.
“Such a person, who spews venom against the country while sitting in Delhi, should be sent back to Islamabad within 24 hours. He is making such statements a day before our Independence Day and I’m sure the government will take action against him,” Raut said.
“Don’t know why Pakistan is celebrating Independence Day as it is observed by nations and Pakistan is not a nation. It’s a hub of terrorists,” he added.
The Congress also condemned Basit’s statement and demanded an apology from the envoy, adding the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completely failed in its efforts to ostracise Islamabad.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi called for introspection by the Centre on how they have failed to get Pakistan isolated globally, adding Islamabad’s ‘wish’ of claiming Kashmir is destined to go unfulfilled.
“I think normally one would not give importance to such comments, but when it comes from the high commissioner of a nation, it has a full official flavour and colour to it. Pakistan will of course have to wait for millennia to even consider its wish being fulfilled, which they expressed when they called it the year of Kashmir’s ‘Azadi’,” he said.
The Pakistani envoy earlier in the day said Islamabad has dedicated the 70th Independence Day to the freedom of Kashmir.
Basit said Pakistan has always made efforts to improve its relationship with India.
“We dedicate this year’s Independence Day to Kashmir’s freedom. We are confident that the sacrifices made by the people of Jammu and Kashmir would be successful,” Basit said.
He asserted that Pakistan has always given moral support to Jammu and Kashmir’s freedom struggle and would continue to do so.
“Struggle for independence will continue till Kashmir gets freedom; sacrifices of the people of Kashmir will not go in vain,” he said.
Basit was reiterating Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement dedicating the day to the “freedom movement” in Kashmir.
“I dedicate this year’s 14th August to the freedom of Kashmir,” Sharif added.
Pakistan’s statement comes just days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s assertion that there is no power in the world, which can take Jammu and Kashmir away from India.
“Nawaz Sharif said that he is waiting for Kashmir to be handed over to Pakistan, he even wrote to UN Secretary General regarding this. I want to assert that no power in the world can wrest Kashmir from us. And if at all they want to have a dialogue with us, then we are ready. But it will be about Pakistan occupied Kashmir, not Kashmir,” Rajnath said in his address in the Rajya Sabha.
INDIAN GOVT SAYS ‘PAKISTAN OCCUPIED KASHMIR’ THE ONLY OUTSTANDING ISSUE BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES:
Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said, “Our stand is very clear in the context of J&K issue. If at all there is any outstanding issue with Pakistan it is how to liberate the part of J&K which remains under illegal occupation of Islamabad after 60-65 years of Indpendence and make it a part of J&K and part of the Indian Union. Whatever goes on in Islamabad and on behalf of Pakistani authorities is a reflection of confusion and frustration they suffer from,” he said.
Earlier in the day, while participating in Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations at its High Commission, Basit said, “Pakistan will continue to extend its full diplomatic, political and moral support to the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir until they get their right to self determination.”