India on Tuesday firmly rejected a reference to Jammu and Kashmir in a joint statement issued by China and Pakistan after the recent two-day visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Islamabad.
The Ministry of External Affairs in its statement reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also referred to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) saying that India has consistently expressed concerns to both China and Pakistan on the projects in the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is in the territory of India that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947.
India sternly opposes the CPEC, a key artery of the Belt and Road project that cuts through Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, New Delhi’s raison d’etre for staying away from the trillion-dollar connectivity scheme.
India not approving the corridor has become a sticky point in its relations with China. Beijing maintains that the project is purely economic in nature and won’t impact Beijing’s neutral stance on the Kashmir issue.
The multi-billion-dollar corridor connects the Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.
Firmly expressing displeasure over the project, the MEA said that India is resolutely opposed to any actions by other countries to change the status quo in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. “We call on the parties concerned to cease such actions,” Kumar further said.
China has reaffirmed its support for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue and said that it opposed any unilateral actions that could complicate the regional situation.
A statement was issued on Sunday after the conclusion of Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi’s visit to Pakistan where he held talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan, his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi, President Arif Alvi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“The Chinese side reaffirmed its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and national dignity, in choosing its development path in light of its national conditions, in working for a better external security environment, and in playing a more constructive role in regional and international issues,” the statement said.
The visiting delegation said that China was also paying close attention to the current situation in Kashmir and reiterated that the issue was a “dispute left from history”, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
Before the joint statement was issued, Imran Khan during his meeting with Wang earlier on Sunday briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Kashmir after India’s August 5 move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are set to face off at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today.
After failing to garner support even from its staunch allies on Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 by India, Pakistan is now preparing to misuse this key UN platform to rake up the issue.
Pakistan has been desperate since the Centre decided to abolish the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state on August 5.