By Ayushi Agarwal
Astana [Kazakhstan]: In a stern response to Pakistan, India said on Thursday that Islamabad has misused the CICA platform for propagating its false and malicious propaganda against India and advised the neighbouring country to set its house in order instead of lecturing the global community.
“It is unfortunate that Pakistan has chosen to once again misuse the CICA platform to propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country and distract from the theme and focus of today’s discussions and cooperation among the member states. The union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standing to comment on India’s internal affairs,” Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi said at the CICA Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
“Pakistan’s remarks today constitute gross interference in India’s internal affairs, sovereignty and territorial integrity which is inconsistent with the CICA declaration on the principles guiding relations between the CICA member states of September 1999,” she added.
Underlining that Pakistan remains the global epicentre of terrorism, Lekhi said it should cease cross-border terrorism against India.
“Pakistan is the global epicentre of terrorism and continues to be the source of terrorist activities 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. It will do well to stop the grave and persistent human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh (PoJKL); refrain from effecting any further material changes in the status of PoJKL, and vacate the Indian territories that are under its illegal and forcible occupation”, the minister added.
Lekhi said India desires normal relations with all its neighbours, including Pakistan.
“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,” she said, adding that such measures will enable the two countries to engage and address issues bilaterally rather than distract this important international forum from its agenda of cooperation.
Earlier, while addressing the sixth CICA summit, Pakistan’s PM mentioned Jammu and Kashmir and said that the onus remains on India to take necessary steps to engage towards result-oriented solutions.
The 6th Summit meeting of the Conference of Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is being held at Astana.
As one of the founding members of CICA, India has supported CICA’s initiatives and participated in various CICA activities.
On the sidelines of the CICA Summit, the Minister will also have some bilateral meetings with senior dignitaries and ministers from other participating countries, including Kazakhstan.
India has close and friendly ties with Kazakhstan underpinned by cultural and historical linkages. Lekhi’s visit comes at an opportune time as two countries observe the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. The visit will further reinforce the momentum in India’s bilateral relations with countries in the region.
CICA is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
It is a forum based on the recognition that there is a close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and the rest of the world.
The member states, while affirming their commitment to the UN Charter, believe that peace and security in Asia can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation leading to a common indivisible area of security in Asia where all states co-exist peacefully and their peoples live in peace, freedom and prosperity.
With 27 member states and about half the world’s population, CICA is the largest regional intergovernmental forum in Asia for enhancing cooperation towards promoting, peace, security and stability in Asia. (ANI)