Will address all issues with Pakistan in a bilateral framework: India rebukes China

NEW DELHI: India asserted that cross- border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was at the “heart” of the matter that was threatening regional peace and snubbed China for its offer to mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue, insisting it was a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan.

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping

India’s strong reaction came a day after the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said China was willing to play a “constructive role” in improving Indo-Pak ties, especially after the increased hostility along the Line of Control (LoC).

He also said the situation in Kashmir has attracted “international” attention.

“At the heart of the matter is really the issue of cross- border terrorism perpetrated on India including on the people of the state of J&K. So, the matter is that cross-border terrorism in our region emanating from a particular source is threatening peace and stability in not only India but other neighbours,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay told reporters.

As far as the Kashmir issue itself is concerned, the government’s position has been very consistent and clear, he asserted.

“We have been ready to have dialogue with Pakistan among other issues (including) J&K in a bilateral framework. That position of addressing all issues with Pakistan including the Kashmir issue in a bilateral framework has not changed,” he Baglay said.

He also strongly rejected allegations by Pakistan that India was using chemical weapons in Kashmir, saying India is against the use of chemical weapon anywhere by anyone in any situation.

Baglay hit out at the Pakistan government for “reading” from Lashkar-e-Taiba’s terror script in glorifying Hizbul militant Burhan Wani, who was killed by security forces in July last year.

Earlier Beijing stated that the conflict between India and Pakistan is threatening peace and stability in the region.

“Both Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia. The conflict between the two countries along the Line of Control in Kashmir is neither conducive to their own stability and development, nor regional peace and tranquility,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“China hopes relevant parties to do more to help with regional peace and stability and refrain from escalating the tension. China stands ready to play a constructive role to improve the relations between Pakistan and India,” he added.

Tensions have been running high between the two Asian neighbours amid spree of ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration from Pakistan side.

Relations between India and Pakistan worsened after several terror attacks, including one on an Indian military base in Uri and also on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

The situation between both nations further deteriorated after a Pakistan military court announced death sentence to former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Relations between the two nations particularly worsened after the 2008 Mumbai attacks by Pakistan based terrorists.

With inputs from PTI and ANI