Mathai rebuts Zardari’s Kashmir

New York (TIP): India Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on September 27 said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have peacefully chosen their destiny in accordance with democratic practices and they continue to do so.

The comment was in response to the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s reference to the disputed Himalayan state in his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) address.

Addressing the interactive session of UNGA Mathai said, “Well, we have seen the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the statement of the President of Pakistan. You know, our principled position on the issue has been consistent and is well known.”

Earlier, Pakistan raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the UNGC with President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday expressing his country’s support for the self-determination of the region.

“We will continue to support the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to peacefully choose their destiny in accordance with the UN Security Council’s long-standing resolutions on this matter. Kashmir remains a symbol of the failures, rather than strengths, of the UN system. We feel that resolution of these issues can only be arrived in an environment of cooperation,” said Zardari.

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He, however called Pakistan’s approach to India as one of mutual trust.

Mathai on the issue of Russian support for India’s UNSC candidature for G4 said, “You see, on the G4 process, we have in fact issued a communiqué…a press statement after our meeting yesterday. I think it should be available.”
“That, I think, clarifies where we are going as part of the G4 process. What I was referring to was a reference, which the Russian Foreign Minister made during a BRICS FMs meeting which I attended on behalf of India.”

He further added, “In his statement, the Russian Foreign Minister made a categorical statement that he supports India’s candidature for permanent membership of the Security Council. So this is the context in which that statement was made.”

Concluding his speech Mathai asserted, “There, while debating this issue on the general title of UN Security Council reform which was part of a larger discussion on reform of institutions of global governance; we also discussed the IMF and other issues.”

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