Senior Congress leader and former union minister Shashi Tharoor slammed Pakistan at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Belgrade after the Pakistani delegate cited developments in Jammu and Kashmir as the reason for his country’s inability to host the group’s plenary, saying Islamabad was trying to politicise the forum by referring to an internal matter of India.
Tharoor took the floor at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly convened on the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union annual meet to deplore a letter from the chairman of the Pakistan Senate which blamed developments in J & K for the country’s inability to host the APA plenary scheduled for December 2019.
Tharoor hit out at the chairman of the Pakistan Senate, saying he has referred to an internal matter of India to “unnecessarily politicise the APA assembly”.
“Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. There is nothing in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir that in any way affects the living and working conditions in his country, let alone in Islamabad,” the senior Congress leader said.
“India’s internal matters do not spill over its borders and do not impinge upon our neighbours. In the circumstances, it is unfortunate and strange that he expects this august assembly to accept such a far-fetched excuse for his inability or unwillingness to host the APA plenary in December in 2019,” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
Pakistan has tried to raise the Kashmir issue at several multilateral meets ever since the Modi government abrogated article 370 of the Constitution but Indian representatives have foiled all these attempts by Islamabad.
A parliamentary delegation from India had thwarted Pakistan’s attempt to raise the issue at a UNICEF event in Sri Lanka last month, asserting that it was India’s internal matter.
India had also scuttled an attempt by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue during the South Asian Speakers’ Summit in the Maldives, saying Islamabad should put an end to all state support to terrorism, which is the “biggest threat” to humanity.