NEW DELHI: Pakistan on its national day on Thursday upped its Kashmir rhetoric with its High Commissioner in Delhi Abdul Basit commenting on the aspirations of the denizens of the Valley. This has not gone down well with the Indian establishment that termed the statement beyond the diplomatic niceties.
In response to Basit’s statement, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Gopal Baglay said: “They (Basit’s statement on Kashmir) are not in keeping with diplomatic niceties and this is tantamount to interference in our internal affairs.”
The MEA spokesperson tersely advised Pakistan to “effectively address the challenge of terrorism emanating from the country” that has adversely affected peace and stability in the entire neighbourhood as well as Pakistan's relations with other countries.
Basit in his National Day speech at the Pakistan embassy contended that the solution to the Jammu and Kashmir issue needs to take the aspirations of the Kashmiris into account and wished that one day the struggle will prove successful.
"As far as the Jammu and Kashmir issue is concerned, it should be resolved as per the aspirations of Kashmiris and hopefully it will be. We hope that we will resolve the issue but as per the aspirations of Kashmiris,” Basit said.
"And, I hope the struggle of the Kashmiris will, god willing, prove successful," he said, without elaborating what he meant by being successful.
The year 2016 has been annus horribilis for the Indo-Pak ties. India has been time and again conveying its concerns regarding intensified series of infiltration and terrorist attacks from across the Line of Control (LOC) and International Border (IB). Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar met with Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary in New Delhi on April 26, 2016 and conveyed that Pakistan cannot be in denial on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship. In the aftermath of Uri terrorist attack on September 18, 2016, the Pakistan High Commissioner was demarched by the Foreign Secretary twice on September 21 and September 27.