Pakistan on Thursday summoned India’s high commissioner to lodge a protest after its envoy was summoned by New Delhi a day earlier, Radio Pakistan reported. According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua summoned Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria in Islamabad.
India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Islamabad’s envoy on Wednesday night to condemn a phone call between Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Gokhale had conveyed India’s condemnation “of this latest brazen attempt by Pakistan to subvert India’s unity” and had accused Pakistan of direct interference, said the Ministry of External Affairs. Gokhale called it a “deplorable act” that “violated all norms for the conduct of international relations even by Pakistan’s own standards”.
Pakistan had late on Wednesday dismissed India’s objections to the telephonic conversation and said that Kashmir is an outstanding dispute between the two nations. It had added that there was “nothing new” in its contact with the Kashmiri separatist leadership.
The Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson on Thursday said Janjua made it clear to Bisaria that Islamabad would continue to extend support to the people of Kashmir. Janjua emphasised that the status of Jammu and Kashmir is internationally accepted as “disputed territory and Pakistan will continue to support Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination”.
The spokesperson added that summoning the Pakistani envoy late on Wednesday night was similar to “political gimmickry and electioneering”.