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Pakistan raises Kashmir in Jakarta, India rebuts

Pakistan today raised the Kashmir issue at the Asian African Conference, saying it was “tragic and unacceptable” that the inalienable right to self- determination was not fulfilled there, a view strongly rebutted by India.

The issue was raised by Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz at the multilateral forum where countries from Asia and Africa are participating, including India which is being represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

“A major focus of the Bandung (1955) was respect for fundamental human rights including the right of self -determination. Many of the countries present here are proud sovereign and independent states still struggling under the yoke (rpt) yoke of colonialism that time. We have therefore come a long way after that,” Aziz said at the Summit.

“It is tragic and unacceptable that 60 years after committing to those overarching principles people from Palestine to Kashmir are still awaiting fulfilment of their inalienable right to self-determination,” he said in a session chaired by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Terming Pakistan’s view as “unacceptable”, Secretary (East) in MEA Anil Wadhwa immediately countered through Right to Reply, saying: “It is most unfortunate that Pakistan has once again chosen to use an international forum such as this to make tendentious remarks about state of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India.”

“As the representative of Pakistan knows under the Shimla agreement of July 1972 and Lahore declaration of February 1999, India and Pakistan are committed to resolve all outstanding issues bilaterally through peaceful dialogue and cooperation and not in a multilateral forum like this Afro Asian meeting which is meant to commemorate spirit of Bandung,” he said.

Aziz also made mention of Pakistan being the biggest victim of terrorism and violent extremism that has claimed the lives of 65,000 people.

Pakistan has been raising Kashmir at international fora, including the United Nations.

Source: Economic Times

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