Pakistan on Wednesday dismissed India’s objections to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a late night statement, said that Kashmir is an outstanding dispute between New Delhi and Islamabad.
India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Islamabad’s envoy on Wednesday night to condemn a phone call between Pakistan’s foreign minister and the Hurriyat Conference leader. Gokhale conveyed India’s condemnation “of this latest brazen attempt by Pakistan to subvert India’s unity” and accused Pakistan of direct interference, the Ministry of External Affairs said. He called it a “deplorable act” that “violated all norms for the conduct of international relations even by Pakistan’s own standards”, the statement said.
“We would like to reiterate that Kashmir is an outstanding dispute between India and Pakistan, and acknowledged as such through United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as numerous Pakistan-India documents including the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration,” Pakistan said on Wednesday night. “The Kashmir issue remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council.”
The ministry also said Pakistan rejects any Indian move to label militancy in Kashmir as “terrorism”. Instead, the ministry called it a “legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination”.
Pakistan said there was “nothing new” in its contact with the Kashmiri separatist leadership. “The leadership in Pakistan has always been communicating with the Kashmiri leadership,” the statement said. It added that Pakistan will continue to provide political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of “occupied Kashmir” until the dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of the UN Security Council and the Kashmiri people.