India rebuffs references to J&K by Pak

New Delhi: India on Thursday rebuffed references to Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan and by a rights panel of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and in turn referred to the vandalisation of a Hindu temple in Rahimyar Khan, saying it has yet again demonstrated how Pakistan “blatantly tramples over the rights and the safety and security of its minority communities”.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, replying to a question on the visit of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the OIC to PakistanOccupied Kashmir, said that “on Jammu and Kashmir our position is well-known”.

“Today is actually the second anniversary of our efforts towards building a new Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“As I just outlined, recent incidents in Pakistan have yet again demonstrated how that country blatantly tramples over the rights and the safety and security of its minority communities,” he added.

His reference was to the vandalisation of a Ganesh temple in Rahimyar Khan in Pakistan’s Punjab province by a frenzied mob that smashed the idols inside. The MEA had on Thursday summoned Pakistan’s Charge D’ Affaires to lodge a strong protest against the “reprehensible incident”, and also called upon Islamabad to ensure the safety, security and well-being of its minority communities.

Pakistan has been trying to drum up international support against India on the second anniversary of the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and resulting in its division into two Union Territories – J&K and Ladakh.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that the Union Territory of J&K has seen “real Democracy, Development, Good Governance and Empowerment” in the last two years, that has helped to strengthen India’s unity and integrity.

With the hashtag NewJammuKashmir, Jaishankar posted: “Jammu and Kashmir has seen real Democracy, Development, Good Governance and Empowerment in the last two years. As a result, India’s unity and integrity has been immeasurably strengthened.”

Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi said the “historic” move to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, 2019, has brought an era of peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir.

“On this day two years ago, Article 370 was abrogated. The historic move has brought an era of peace and development in Jammu & Kashmir. Under the leadership of @narendramodi ji and @amitshah ji we bear witness to the formation of #NewJammuKashmir,” she posted.

India has firmly stated that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of its territory, and all the issues relating to the Union Territory of J&K are an internal affair of the country.

On the constitutional changes on Jammu and Kashmir, India has always maintained that “these relate to the temporary provisions on J&K, including an Article 370 of the constitution”, and that the changes have been brought through established parliamentary procedures and it is well within the framework of the Constitution of India to effect these changes.” (UNI)

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