Pak rejects India's objections to Qureshi-Mirwaiz telephonic conversation
Summons Indian envoy; protests summoning of its top diplomat
Islamabad, Jan 31 (PTI) The Pakistani and Kashmiri leadership has always been communicating and there is nothing new in Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's telephonic conversation with separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar, the Pakistan Foreign Office has said as it rejected India's objections.
India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale Wednesday summoned Pakistan's envoy Sohail Mahmood and categorically told him that Qureshi's telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz was a "brazen attempt" to subvert India's unity and violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in a late evening statement, said the Pakistan High Commissioner was "cautioned" that persistence of such behaviour by Pakistan will have "implications".
It said Gokhale conveyed to the Pakistani envoy that the "deplorable act" has violated all norms for the conduct of international relations even by Pakistan's own standards and that Qureshi's actions are tantamount to direct interference in the internal affairs of its neighbour.
Pakistan's Foreign Office in a statement issued Wednesday midnight said that the government of Pakistan "categorically rejects the objections" by India.
The leadership in Pakistan has always been communicating with the Kashmiri leadership, the statement said.
"This is not anything new," it said.
"We would like to reiterate that Kashmir is an outstanding dispute between India and Pakistan, and acknowledged as such through UN Security Council resolutions as well as numerous Pakistan-India documents including the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration," it said.
It said the Kashmir issue remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
It further said that Pakistan was “committed to extending its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Kashmir.”
It reaffirmed that Pakistan will maintain its “support and solidarity” till the time the Kashmir dispute is resolved peacefully, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the people of Jammu Kashmir.
The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi asserted that the entire Jammu and Kashmir "has been, is and shall remain the integral part of India and that Pakistan has no locus standi in any matters related to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, has been made clear again to the High Commissioner of Pakistan."
Meanwhile, in a tit-for-tat move, Pakistan on Thursday also summoned India's High Commissioner here to lodge a protest over the summoning of its envoy in New Delhi.
Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Thursday said that Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua summoned Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria to lodge a protest over the summoning of Pakistan's envoy, the state-run ‘Radio Pakistan’ reported.
Foreign Secretary Janjua made it clear to Bisaria that Pakistan would continue to extend support to the people of Kashmir, he said.
She stressed 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", Faisal said.
Faisal also said that summoning of Pakistani envoy late last night is just a "political gimmickry and electioneering".