Don’t meddle, India tells Musharraf after Kashmir remarks

August 14th, 2008 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Reacting strongly to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s remarks on the violence in Jammu and Kashmir, India Thursday again warned Islamabad not to interfere in its internal affairs. “We have never interfered in Pakistan’s internal matters. Pakistan should do the same,” Mukherjee told a TV news channel when asked to comment on Musharraf’s remarks in his address to the nation Wednesday night.

In a clear attempt to divert attention from the crisis stalking his presidency, Musharraf tried to revive the hawkish agenda on Kashmir in his independence-day eve speech. The Pakistan president is facing an impeachment motion moved against him by the ruling coalition.

“Every Pakistani is with our brothers and sisters in Srinagar. Kashmir beats in the heart of every Pakistani,” Musharraf had said in an address to the nation during the “Azadi Show” event at the presidency in Islamabad.

He also tried to provoke India by condemning the violence in Jammu and Kashmir as “human rights violations” and described as “martyrs” the 21 people who lost their lives in the violence in Kashmir valley in the last couple of days.

Musharraf’s remarks on the unrest in Kashmir valley came soon after India repudiated Pakistan’s attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue by approaching the UN and other international bodies.

In a statement Wednesday night, New Delhi warned Islamabad to desist from such a course of action that is “gratuitous and illegal” and has the potential to harm the peace process between the two countries.

“To call for international involvement in the sovereign internal affairs of India is gratuitous, illegal and only reflects reversion to a mindset that has led to no good consequences for Pakistan in the past,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said in a statement.

Over the last week, New Delhi warned Islamabad many a time to desist from meddling in its internal affairs, indicating that such posturing has the potential to derail the over four-year-old peace process between the two neighbours.

Moreover, this also goes against the spirit of the composite dialogue and the 1972 Shimla pact under which both parties agreed to resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally.

In a clear message to Pakistan that its efforts to cash in on the unrest in the Kashmir Valley over a land transfer row involving the Amarnath shrine will not succeed, New Delhi also asked Pakistan to eschew rhetoric which is reminiscent of bitterness of an earlier time in India-Pakistan relations.

New Delhi feels that Islamabad is trying to distract attention from its alleged complicity in the bombings on the Indian mission in Kabul last month and its alleged continued patronage of terror activities in India, official sources said.

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