The BJP and the Congress condemned Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif’s comments that Kashmir was the “jugular vein” of Islamabad.

Terming General Sharif’s comments as “provocative and aggressive,” the BJP on Thursday said Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India. “A unanimous resolution of the Indian parliament has stated in no uncertain words that the entire J & K, inclusive of those parts which are under illegal occupation by Pakistan, belong to India,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The BJP cautioned the Pakistan government against the use of “hawkish” statements that have the tendency to derail peace in the region.

“It is for the elected civilian government of Pakistan to speak up to ensure there is peace in the region. The government should ensure that it focusses its attention on building a peaceful Pakistan and not allow its army to pose threat and issue alarm calls against peace in the region,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

The Congress, too, asserted that Kashmir remained an integral part of India. “J&K is an integral part of India and the people of the State have just voted in the elections also. We don’t need to respond to statements like these,” said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Reminding Pakistan that the entire State was acceded to India by the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari said: “The fact is that Kashmir is an inalienable part of India.”

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