NEW DELHI (TIP): Hours after Pakistan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had crossed the ‘red line’ by discussing Balochistan, India hit back by saying Pakistan’s record of cross-border terrorism was central to the current situation in the region.
Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said, “Pakistan recognises no red lines in conduct of its own diplomacy. Pakistan’s record of cross-border terrorism and infiltration were central to the problems in Balochistan. And this isn’t just India’s view. You can ask some of the other countries in the region too.”
“We need to understand the context in which the prime minister made the statements. Several people from Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan, wrote to the PM after his comments at the all-party meet on August 12, thanking him for flagging their cause. PM was touched by these messages and thought of sharing it during his Independence Day speech,” he added.
Swarup also said that this was not the first time that India had made a statement on Balochistan.
“India had made such remarks in the past as well. My predecessor has commented on this issue,” the spokesperson said.
On India’s decision to discuss solely terror and not Kashmir in the upcoming bilateral talks in Islamabad, Swarup said, “The ball is in Pakistan’s court now. They made an offer, we responded to it. Now it’s up to them to reply.”
Talking about the atrocities being committed in PoK, Swarup said the MEA would do whatever it takes to assist people in the region.
The MEA’s remarks at a press conference came after Pakistan today said that PM Modi crossed the “red line” by discussing Pakistani atrocities on people of Balochistan and asserted that it will “forcefully” raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session next month.
“The Prime Minister strongly pleaded the case of Kashmir during General Assembly session last year and we will again forcefully raise the issue,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said. “It is the violation of the UN Charter…He (Modi) crossed the red line by talking about Balochistan,” he added.
Zakaria alleged that India was involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. Zakaria also claimed that India was referring to Balochistan to cover up its human rights violations in Kashmir.
Zakaria said the UN and international community should remind India that it must fulfil its commitment to give the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as per Security Council resolutions.
“Pakistan strongly condemns the continuing use of force by India and violation of human rights. The brutal use of force has killed at least 80 people and at least 100 have been blinded by use of pellet guns,” Zakaria alleged.
Zakaria said Pakistan had proposed to India to hold talks on Kashmir. However, he refused to confirm if India had responded to the proposal.