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J&K row: Don't meddle in our affairs, India tells Pak

August 12, 2008 17:56 IST

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India on Tuesday reacted strongly to comments by Pakistan on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], terming these as 'clear interference' in this country's internal affairs and cautioned that such remarks do not help the atmosphere for moving the bilateral dialogue process forward.

A day after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the police action in Jammu and Kashmir as the 'excessive and unwarranted use of force' against people, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said 'such statements by leaders of a foreign country do not help the situation' in the state.

"These statements constitute clear interference in the internal affairs of an integral part of India," Sarna told media persons in New Delhi [Images] while referring to the remarks of Qureshi as well as Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq on the situation in the 'Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir'.

The spokesman said such statements do not contribute to 'creating the atmosphere necessary for the dialogue process between India and Pakistan to move forward'.

Sarna said the government of India as well as the state government are taking all steps necessary to restore law and order in this part of the country.

Qureshi had on Monday said that Pakistan was 'deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation in (Jammu and Kashmir) which is resulting in loss of life and property of the Kashmiri people. We call for immediate steps to end the violence against innocent Kashmiris.'

Qureshi had said it was 'important that an enabling environment, free of violence, is created to sustain the peace process and address the long standing dispute of Jammu and Kashmir'.
Earlier, in a separate statement, Sadiq expressed concern at reported attacks on the life and property of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir and what it described as the community's 'economic blockade by extremist elements'.

This is the second time in five days that India reacted sharply to such comments emanating from Pakistan over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan Senate last week passed a resolution which expressed concern over the reported 'economic blockade imposed by Hindu extremists against the Muslims of Jammu and the Valley of Kashmir'.

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