India, Pakistan spar over Kashmir at Bandung

New Delhi/Islamabad : India has termed as “most unfortunate” Pakistan’s reference to the Kashmir issue at the Asian African summit in Jakarta, an official in New Delhi said.

The Indian objection came following a reference to the festering issue by Pakistani Prime Minister’s Advisor Sartaj Aziz in his address at the Asian African summit 2015 in Jakarta.

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“It is most unfortunate that Pakistan has once again chosen to use an international forum such as this to make tendentious remarks about the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India,” the Indian external affairs ministry said in a release on Thursday.

In response, on Friday, the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a communique issued in Islamabad that: “What Pakistan has stated is a fact, that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are still awaiting the fulfilment of their inalienable right to self-determination.”

It further dismissed the Indian contention that the Jakarta meet was not a relevant forum for raising the contentious issue by observing that “fundamental rights and the right to self-determination was the cornerstone of the Bandung Declaration”.

The foreign ministry further maintained that “Pakistan is ready to discuss the Jammu and Kashmir issue bilaterally with India”.

It, however, said the issue was not merely a bilateral matter. “It is also an international issue, and is on the agenda of the UN.”