Pak's Kashmir Statement: Focus Inward, Cong Tells Islamabad24 September 2010
The Economic Times
New Delhi: Congress has lashed out at Islamabad for demanding international mediation on Kashmir and its observations on the recent protests in the Valley. Taking a strong exception to remarks by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York and foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit, Congress said that at a time when Pakistan is inundated by floods, it should concentrate on its home front and not give “irrational statements”. Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, “When several Pakistan’s districts are inundated in floods, it has issued such irrational statements and preached us that we should stop considering Kashmir as an integral part of India and has said that the solution to Jammu and Kashmir problem should be beyond constitutional framework.” Mr Tewari was reacting to Mr Basit’s observation on the visit of the all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir that unless India introspects, takes a fresh look at its “unhelpful” Kashmir policy, stops treating the state as its integral part and “stops harping on seeking a solution” within the Constitution, no meaningful discussion can take place. Mr Tewari reminded Pakistan that the Raja of Kashmir had decided to go with India after Independence and said, “Pakistan should remember that whatever parts of Kashmir are under its occupation are because of forcible intervention by Pakistan.” Pakistan foreign minister had once again tried to seek international intervention in Kashmir at the UN General Assembly. He had said, “We call upon the United States, which is pressing so responsibly for peace in the Middle East, to also invest its political capital in trying to help seek an accommodation on Kashmir,” he said. “Such an accommodation would not only be just for the people of Kashmir but would be critical for peace in the region,” he added.