India rejects Miliband’s ‘unsolicited advice’ on Kashmir

January 15th, 2009 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) India Thursday reacted sharply to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s remarks on Kashmir, saying it did not need “unsolicited advice on internal issues”.“Mr. Miliband is entitled to his views, which are clearly his own and are evolving. India is a free country and, even if we do not share his views, he is free to express them,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in response to a question.

“However, we do not need unsolicited advice on internal issues in India like Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesperson said.

Miliband - currently on a four-day visit to India - wrote in The Guardian newspaper Thursday that the ‘war on terror’ was “misleading and mistaken” because it failed to take into account the different motives of various terror groups.

The British minister said that a “resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms, and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders”.

The comments were seen in India as reinforcing Pakistan’s position about the unresolved Kashmir dispute feeding extremists in that country. India has rejected any third-party intervention in what it sees a bilteral issue with Pakistan.

In a speech in Mumbai Thursday, Miliband called for a rethink on ‘war on terror’ and asked Pakistan to show “zero tolerance” towards terrorism.

Miliband also rejected the military option as an answer to the problem of terrorism and advised India and Pakistan to pursue the “more difficult but much more effective choice of cooperation” in dealing with issues in the wake of the Nov 26 Mumbai terrorist strikes.

In his interaction with the media in New Delhi, Miliband said that the Mumbai attacks were not carried out by Pakistani state - remarks that contradicted the Indian government’s accusation about the involvement of Pakistani state agencies in the Mumbai carnage.

The remarks did not go down well in India with chief opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying they were “a dazzling blow to the Indian government’s stand” about the complicity of Pakistan’s state agencies in the Mumbai attacks.

“It is indeed an unfortunate situation where we have a government which is down on its knees, totally failing to react to these statements,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in a statement.

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