In a statement released on Thursday, India expressed its desire for normal relations with all of its neighbours, including Pakistan. India also urged Islamabad to foster such relations by taking “credible, verifiable, and irreversible actions” to ensure that no territory it controls is used for cross-border terrorism against it.
Speaking at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) 6th Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi said this.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan accused the Indian government of committing atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir while speaking at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures (CICA) Summit in Astana. He also claimed that New Delhi was responsible for engaging in a result-oriented manner.
“The union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal affairs,” she said.
Lekhi, who spoke on behalf of India at the summit after Sharif, asserted that Pakistan had once more abused the CICA platform to “propagate false and malicious propaganda” against India and to divert attention from the main topic of discussions among the group’s members.
“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 infrastructure of terrorism,” Lekhi said.
Sharif said he was “absolutely ready and willing to have serious dialogue and discussion with our counterparts in India provided they show sincerity of purpose and they show that they are ready to discuss issues which have really kept us at a distance over decades”. However, he said that the “onus remains on India to take the necessary step for meaningful and result-oriented engagement”.
Since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were carried out by Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, India and Pakistan have not engaged in any sustained or significant dialogue (LeT). The special status of Jammu and Kashmir was abolished by India in 2019, which further strained relations.