India on Wednesday rejected the reference to Kashmir in a joint statement issued by China and Pakistan, asking them not to interfere with the internal affairs of the country.
On February 6, China and Pakistan had said that they oppose “any unilateral actions that complicate the situation” in Kashmir. The joint statement noted that Pakistan briefed China on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, including its concerns on the subject.
“The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” the statement read.
Earlier on February 4, the two countries had also signed a Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
In its statement on Wednesday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that the country’s stand on Kashmir is well known to China and Pakistan.
“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,” said Arindam Bagchi, the ministry’s spokesperson.
On the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Bagchi said New Delhi has expressed its concerns to both the countries about the projects, “which are in India’s territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan”.
“We resolutely oppose any attempts to change the status quo by other countries, as also by Pakistan, in the areas under the illegal occupation of Pakistan,” the spokesperson added. “We call upon the parties concerned to cease such activities.”
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, consists of a network of infrastructure and energy projects. It is an integral part of Beijing’s $900 billion Belt and Road Initiative.
India has consistently held that the whole of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and opposed any outside interference in the region.