India on Thursday strongly rejected references made to Jammu and Kashmir in a recent joint press statement by Pakistan and China and asserted that the union territory as well as Ladakh have been and will remain its integral and inalienable part.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also objected to reference made to the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the statement, saying it is in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.
“As in the past, India categorically rejects any reference to Jammu and Kashmir. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the union territory of Ladakh has been and will remain an integral and inalienable part of India,” Bagchi said at a media briefing.
On reference to the CPEC in the joint press statement, the spokesperson said India has consistently conveyed to both China and Pakistan that the so-called CPEC is in India’s territory.
“We resolutely oppose any attempts by other countries to change the status quo in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan as also to Pakistan bringing up any material change in Indian territories under its illegal occupation. We call upon parties concerned to cease such actions,” he said.
The CPEC is part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
India has been severely critical of the BRI as the USD 50 billion corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The Pakistan-China press statement was issued on last Saturday following talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi at Chengdu in Sichuan province in China.
It said the Pakistani side briefed China side on the “deterioration of the situation” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan has been making concerted efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue. The neighbouring country stepped up an anti-India campaign after New Delhi announced in August 2019 its decision to withdraw the special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.