India on Thursday accused Pakistan of propagating false and malicious propaganda related to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It said Islamabad cannot make remarks on Delhi’s internal matters.

“The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of India,” Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi said. “Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal affairs.”

Lekhi made the remarks while addressing the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, or CICA, in Kazakhstan’s Astana city.

She was replying to the statements made by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday afternoon at the CICA event. He had said that the onus remains on India to take necessary steps to engage towards result-oriented solutions in Jammu and Kashmir.

“For seven decades India has trampled the will of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, by denying them the right of self-determination,” Sharif had alleged. “India brandishes democracy not through the ballot, but through its bullet.”

In response, Lekhi said that Pakistan is the global epicentre of terrorism and continues to be the source of terrorist activities around the world, including in India.

“Pakistan continues to make no investment in human development but provides their resources for creating and sustaining the infrastructure of terrorism,” she said. “Pakistan must immediately cease anti-India cross-border terrorism and shut down its infrastructure of terrorism.”

The minister also urged Islamabad to stop the grave and persistent human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

“We desire normal relations with all our neighbours, including Pakistan,” Lekhi said. “Pakistan is thereby advised to walk the talk by creating a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross-border terrorism against India in any manner.”

Lekhi added that this would enable New Delhi and Islamabad to engage and address issues bilaterally rather than distract the summit from its agenda.

“With its own record of the dismal treatment of minority communities, Pakistan would be well advised to set its house in order instead of lecturing the world community,” she said.