Slamming Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for raking up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly, India on Tuesday said the “unacceptable” and "untenable" remarks by him were a ploy to divert attention from the internal troubles that country was facing.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna took strong exception to Mr. Qureshi's call for a “plebiscite” in Jammu and Kashmir and said India did conduct a “plebiscite' every five years in the form of elections and separatists prevented Kashmiris from exercising their franchise.
“It is with a sense of genuine disappointment that I react to the unacceptable references to the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir made by Foreign Minister Qureshi in his address at the U.N. earlier today [Tuesday],” Mr. Krishna said, speaking at Asia Society.
“Such unsolicited and untenable remarks will not and, indeed, cannot direct attention from the multiple problems Pakistan needs to tackle for the common good of its people and indeed of the entire region,” Mr. Krishna said.
In his speech, Mr. Qureshi stressed that Kashmiris should be allowed “to exercise their right of self-determination through a plebiscite.”
Mr. Krishna said Pakistan was facing internal trouble and was trying to “deflect attention” by using “Kashmir as a ploy.”
“There is nothing new in what they have been saying,” he said, noting that Pakistan appeared to have dug out the “plebiscite” issue from their old speeches.
“Nobody has ever questioned the elections in Kashmir as fake,” Mr. Krishna said.