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Time for Pakistan to accept reality of Kashmir: India

New Delhi: India on Friday said it is time for Pakistan to accept the reality of change in status of Jammu and Kashmir and stop interfering in what is entirely an internal matter of India, even as it urged Islamabad to review its unilateral decision to snap ties.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, addressing a media briefing, said: “It is time for Pakistan to accept the reality (of revoking of Article 370) and stop interfering in the internal affairs of another country.”

He said Pakistan is upset over revocation of special status for Kashmir and the massive development work that is planned to be brought into J&K now, as Islamabad “will not be able to incite terrorism or mislead the people of Kashmir anymore”.

He stressed that “all matters relating to J&K are an internal matter, and a sovereign matter concerning India. We want Pakistan to understand this.”

He said Pakistan’s attempt to present a picture of an alarming situation in J&K and linking it to what is a sovereign matter of India (revoking Article 370) “has not succeeded anywhere”.

On Pakistan expelling the Indian High Commissioner, announcing snapping of trade ties among other measures, he said “We hope they review the decision, and hope they address the core issues.”

Asked what Pakistan would have meant by announcing that it will review all bilateral arrangements, he said since the steps announced were unilateral “we don’t know”.

The spokesperson said the ministry as well as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar have briefed a number of foreign governments and multi-lateral organisations about India’s steps on Kashmir, and conveyed to them that “they constitute a sovereign jurisdiction, and relates to our internal affairs”.

To a question on Pakistan planning to internationalise the Kashmir issue, he said: “When Pakistan decides to internationalise it, we will decide what is to be done.”

On Pakistan’s plans to raise it at the UN Security Council, he said: “Our view on the UNSC is very clear. The steps we have taken in relation to Article 370 are an internal matter.”

“We feel the steps have been taken keeping in mind the best interests of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Thursday clearly articulated his vision of J&K and Ladakh.

He termed as “unfortunate” Pakistan’s decision to permanently suspend the cross-border Samjhauta Express, adding that India regrets Islamabad’s decision.

“And it is part of the same narrative by Pakistan that relations have reached an alarming stage,” he added.

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