Only outstanding issue with Pak is liberating PoK: PMO

The government strongly reacted to Abdul Basit's remarks that Pakistan was dedicating its Independence Day to Kashmir's "freedom".

Updated - September 20, 2016 01:54 pm IST

Published - August 14, 2016 02:50 pm IST - New Delhi

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. File photo.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. File photo.

The government on Sunday strongly reacted to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s remark on Kashmir’s “freedom”, saying the “only outstanding issue is how to liberate part of J&K which is under illegal occupation of Islamabad.”

MoS in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said, “Our stand is very clear in the context of J&K issue. If at all there is any outstanding issue with Pakistan it is how to liberate the part of J&K which remains under illegal occupation of Islamabad after 60-65 years of Indpendence and make it a part of J&K and part of the Indian Union.

“Whatever goes on in Islamabad and on behalf of Pakistani authorities is a reflection of confusion and frustration they suffer from,” he said.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit had said that Pakistan was dedicating its Independence Day to Kashmir's “freedom” and would continue to extend full diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of the State.

Mr. Basit's comment came during the country’s Independence Day celebrations at its embassy in New Delhi.

India had virtually turned down Pakistan’s offer for a dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir, seeking an end to cross-border terrorism.

“We are dedicating this year’s Independence Day to the freedom of Kashmir. And, we firmly believe that the sacrifices made by the people of Jammu and Kashmir will not go in vain. The ongoing unrest should be ended. Pakistan will continue to extend its full diplomatic, political and moral support to the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir till they get their right to self determination,” Mr. Basit said.

He said the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be suppressed, and that the “freedom movement” will reach its logical conclusion.

In his address, Mr. Basit said Pakistan has always strived for better ties with India on the basis of sovereign equality and peaceful resolution of bilateral disputes.

“Today our nation faces several challenges, but no power can cause any damage to Pakistan. People who want to trouble Pakistan should know that our people, be it Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, are together and will not hesitate to make any sacrifice for Pakistan’s well-being,” he said.

India on Saturday made it clear that it would talk on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations.

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