India Asks Pak To Focus On Internal Threat And Not Bother About Kashmir
3 May 2014
Times of India
: The government on Saturday hit out at Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif for mentioning Kashmir in 'unwholesome and unacceptable' manner and asked Islamabad to focus more on challenges it is facing from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). External affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also asked Islamabad to be prepared to work with UPA-III. Sharif had said Kashmir is Pakistan's jugular vein. Pakistan has maintained that it is willing to work with whatever government is formed in India and irrespective of who leads it. Khurshid said all political parties had very specifically repudiated whatever has been said in Pakistan. 'We acknowledge that and we associate ourselves with the commonly held position, the common position in our country that Kashmir is an integral part of our country,' he said. 'Having said that I must add that Pakistan has difficult challenges today to face from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who obviously have their masters in al-Qaida. And I think the army in Pakistan and the armed forces and security forces there would be well advised to address the challenges that come from TTP and other unwholesome forces that are attacking civilians in Pakistan and causing innocent people hurt and of course enormous amount of anxiety,' he said, asking Pakistan to refrain from creating confusion in the subcontinent. On statements by Pakistan officials that they were ready to work with BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi, Khurshid said Pakistan should instead prepare to work with UPA-III. 'We are going to be around. We are quite confident that we will form UPA-III and hopefully take forward whatever positive steps have taken place over the past few months,' he said. Khurshid's comments follow India's announcement on Friday to not allow a visit by Pakistani pilgrims to Ajmer as 'a measure of abundant precaution, aimed at ensuring safety and welfare of the pilgrims' during the ongoing elections. Pakistan has strongly protested saying this was the fourth time India had prevented the visit in the past one year. We are most certainly disappointed that this year pilgrims from Pakistan were unable to attend the Urs at what is one of the holiest shrines of our region,' said MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, adding a visit of such number of pilgrims required much elaborate arrangements.