Ahead of Pakistan-organised Kashmir solidarity day on Tuesday, the Pakistan Army approached the Indian Army to inform about plans for a demonstration on the occasion near the Line of Control, sources said.
But the Indian Army responded that it will be seen as an “act of provocation” and appropriate response will be undertaken, sources said. Following this, there was a small-scale demonstration near the Line of Control in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Sources said that the conversation between the two sides took place through defence diplomatic channels.
While Pakistan tried to attract international attention by organising an event in UK’s parliament which was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, sources in Delhi said that the meeting was only attended by Pakistan-origin MPs or those with some “Pakistan connection”. “All 11 British MPs who attended the event have some Pakistan connection,” sources said.
None of the cabinet ministers, including Pakistan-origin UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, attended the event, sources said.
“The fact that Qureshi did not get a meeting with his counterpart, the British Foreign secretary, speaks for itself that the UK was not keen to give the event or the visit any official legitimacy,” sources said.
Sources also said that the Indian side took up the issue quite strongly with the British counterparts. The event was organised by the Pakistani diaspora in the UK. “The event was organised by Pakistan’s diaspora, many of whom are British citizens. Since any British citizen can book a room through their MPs in the British parliament and host an event, this event was organised on the parliament premises,” sources said.
The UK conveyed to India that it was treating Qureshi’s visit as “private” and did not entertain any official meetings. “They had conveyed to us that the UK government would not like to get drawn into what is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. While the Kashmir solidarity day is an annual ritual, the government had made efforts to make them understand that this was anti-India propaganda,” sources said.
Sources also said that Pakistan’s intention to internationalise the issue of Kashmir on the occasion of the Kashmir solidarity day, which is held every year on February 5, did not bear fruit. “We had told the British counterparts that they should take into account our sensitivities. We can say with some confidence that the events showed that there was acceptance of our position from the British side,” sources said.
Pakistan on Tuesday observed Kashmir Solidarity Day, with top leaders extending their support to the people in the Valley and to find a peaceful resolution.