With the US expressing support to Pakistan’s efforts to arrange funds for the Diamer Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, India Friday said New Delhi opposes any development projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is under “forcible and illegal” occupation.
“We have made our stand clear to all countries,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
The 4,500-mega watt dam project has been unable to make any headway for want of funds.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on his trip to the US, took up several issues, including Kashmir and terrorism. The Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Haqqani network found a mention in the US-Pakistan joint statement released Thursday.
“It is Pakistan that has chosen terrorism as the instrument of state policy. We hope that this visit conveys a clear message to Pakistan that the international community is deeply concerned about its support and sponsorship of terrorists,” Swarup said.
Emphasising the US-Pakistan joint statement devotes considerable space to terrorism and that it is for the first time that the LeT and the Haqqani network are mentioned in it, Swarup said India hopes Pakistan “delivers on these commitments.”
About the US’ intention to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Swarup said, “Our reservation to the supply of such systems is well known and needs no reiteration. We have been told the matter is still to be discussed in the US Congress where many leading figures, who understand Pakistan well, have already questioned its rationale… We hope the right sections raise concerns about this.”
On the reference to strengthening strategic stability in south Asia, Swarup said, “Pakistan has a history of clandestine and illegal activity on the nuclear side, Obviously, implications of the assertion by the Pakistan Foreign Secretary have to be carefully considered,” he said, referring to Aizaz Chaudhry’s remarks about Pakistan developing “low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons” to deter an attack from India.