Pakistan shrugs-off Indian objection to Pak-China joint statement on Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday responded to the Indian statement on references made to Jammu and Kashmir in the Pakistan-China joint statement issued in Beijing, following talks between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Qiang on June 8.

The Foreign Office stated, “It is an established fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognised disputed territory. The dispute has been on the agenda of the UN Security Council for over seven decades. The relevant Security Council resolutions clearly stipulate that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. In that backdrop, the Indian claims over Jammu and Kashmir are totally unfounded and misplaced.”

India had rejected “unwarranted” references to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement last week and criticised the mention of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that New Delhi rejects any move to legitimise Islamabad’s illegal occupation of territory.

“We have noted unwarranted references to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement between China and Pakistan. We categorically reject such references,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal had said. “The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been, are, and will always remain integral and inalienable parts of India,” he added.

While responding a week later, the FO spokesperson asserted that India should not mislead the international community on CPEC, which is a flagship developmental endeavour, agreed upon by two sovereign nations. “Instead of making baseless claims about CPEC, India should implement, at the earliest, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir,” she maintained.

The joint statement from June 8 read that Pakistan briefed China on the latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir, adding that the Chinese leadership reiterated that the “Jammu and Kashmir dispute is left over from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved”.

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