Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday dismissed comments by New Delhi’s external affairs minister suggesting normalcy had returned to India-held Kashmir, and vowed to continue highlighting the plight of Kashmiris at every available forum.
Responding to an interview of India External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar with French daily Le Monde, the Foreign Office questioned in a statement why this ‘normalcy’ was not visible to the rest of the world. “For India, there is no escape from the reality that its state-sponsored repression cannot break the will and indomitable spirit of the Kashmiri people,” it said, adding New Delhi should move past its ‘obsession’ with Pakistan and stop denying the reality of the persistent situation in Kashmir.
The statement said the Indian minster’s claims, which included fresh allegations of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, were yet another example of India’s hubris and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s smear campaign against Pakistan. It said senior Indian officials had resorted to manufacturing facts about terrorism and the situation in India-held Kashmir to try to divert global attention from the region. “If anything, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is the face of India’s ‘export’ of terrorism to Pakistan,” it said, referring to the convicted spy who was captured in Balochistan in 2016.
“India also continues to be the safe haven for those preaching hate and carrying out hate crimes, including against its own minorities, with impunity and indeed under state patronage,” it added.
The statement said India’s frustration was evident because it had failed to muzzle the voices of the Kashmiri people and their demand for self-determination despite decades of state-terrorism in Kashmir. As a country that had suffered the most from the cross-border terrorism, it added, Pakistan would continue to contribute constructively to regional and global efforts to promote peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.