Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Sunday said his country was celebrating their Independence Day this year and dedicating it to the “freedom of Kashmir”, reports said. He added that Pakistan has “always made efforts to improve its relationship with India”, dna reported.
Basit’s statement came soon after India said that it will not hold talks with the country regarding the unrest in Kashmir, but that it would only discuss Pakistan occupied Kashmir and other issues like cross-border terrorism. Earlier in the week, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz expressed their desire to hold bilateral talks to discuss the ongoing unrest in Kashmir.
India reacted strongly after Basit’s comments, also responding to a reported offer from Pakistan to send “supplies” to Jammu and Kashmir. A statement from the minister of external affairs said, “India and others in the region have already received enough of Pakistan's trademark exports - international terrorism, cross-border infiltrators, weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
Parts of Kashmir have been under a curfew and saw protests and violence after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. After violence following Wani's death, Pakistan called for a plebiscite in Kashmir for citizens to decide which country they want to be a part of.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said terrorism had affected normal life in Kashmir, and re-affirmed that PoK was a part of India.