India rejects reference to Jammu and Kashmir in China-Pak joint statement | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India rejects reference to Jammu and Kashmir in China-Pak joint statement

Jun 13, 2024 08:03 PM IST

The China-Pakistan joint statement had opposed “any unilateral action” to resolve outstanding disputes, including the issue of J&K

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday dismissed “unwarranted references” to Jammu and Kashmir in a recent China-Pakistan joint statement and said they have no right to comment on areas that are an integral part of the country.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 7 (AP FILE)
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 7 (AP FILE)

The Indian side also reiterated its opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which found a mention in the joint statement issued on June 7 at the conclusion of Pakistan Premier Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China for discussions with President Xi Jinping.

The joint statement had opposed “any unilateral action” to resolve outstanding disputes, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. This was perceived by India as a reference to New Delhi’s 2019 decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which was opposed by both China and Pakistan.

“We have noted unwarranted references to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement between China and Pakistan of 7 June 2024. We categorically reject such references,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a statement.

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India’s consistent position on this issue is that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh “have been, are and will always remain integral and inalienable parts of India”. Jaiswal added: “No other country has the locus standi to comment on the same.”

Referring to the mention of activities and projects under CPEC in the same joint statement, Jaiswal said some of these “are in India’s sovereign territory under forcible and illegal occupation by Pakistan”. India opposes and rejects “any moves by other countries to reinforce or legitimise Pakistan’s illegal occupation of these territories, impinging on India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, he said.

India’s relations with China are currently at their lowest point in six decades because of the dragging military standoff on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while ties with Pakistan are virtually non-existent, with New Delhi maintaining that there can be no talks with Islamabad as long as the Pakistani side continues supporting cross-border terrorism.

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According to the joint statement, China and Pakistan “underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia, the need for resolution of all outstanding disputes, and their opposition to any unilateral action”. The Pakistani side briefed China on the latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir, and Beijing reiterated that the “Jammu and Kashmir dispute is left over from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements”.

China and Pakistan recognised CPEC as a pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the two sides have adhered to the principle of “planning together, building together, and benefiting together” since the launch of the project.

After the first decade of CPEC, the two sides are committed to carrying out eight major steps for supporting high-quality cooperation, forging an “upgraded version” of CPEC by building a growth corridor, a livelihood-enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor, the joint statement said.

India has consistently opposed CPEC as a key part passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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