Introducing a new irritant into the bilateral ties, Pakistan has complained to UN Security Council alleging that India was building a wall along the International Border in violation of the world body's resolutions.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has written two letters dated September 4 and 9 to the UN Security Council. In the September 9 letter to president of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Lodhi expressed "deep concern" at the plan by India to construct a 10 meter-high and 135 feet-wide embankment (wall) along the 197-kilometre working boundary between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
India said one of Pakistan's letters to the UNSC is based on a "submission" made by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters that India is aware of the two letters that have been written. "I believe the second letter (dated September 9) is based on some kind of submission made by Salahuddin, who is a person that we consider to be a global terrorist. At the appropriate time we will respond to this," Swarup said.
The first letter dated September 4 states that there was no bilateral dialogue, Swarup said adding that the Border Security Force and Park Rangers have already met. "So that letter itself has contradicted itself that there is no dialogue. There has been a dialogue," Swarup said.
Swarup asked that "has any action been taken by the UN on these letters. That is the first question. If there is action taken by the UN we will respond appropriately. If there is no action taken by the UN then this will mean that nobody has taken cognizance," of the letters, Swarup said.
In the letter, Lodhi said that Pakistan "considers the embankment a permanent structure that will bring about a material change in the territory in violation inter alia of... Security Council Resolution...of 1948.
"The state of Jammu & Kashmir is internationally recognised disputed territory with a number of United Nations Security Council resolutions on the official status of Jammu & Kashmir awaiting implementation," Lodhi said.
'India will respond if Sharif raises Kashmir in UN'
India, meanwhile, has said that it will respond if Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raises the Kashmir issue in his address at the UN General Assembly.
"When a statement comes from him (on Kashmir), then we will reply," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup has said.
When asked if India is concerned about Pakistan's attempt to internationalise the issue by raising it at the UN, Swarup said we are fully prepared to deal with any kind of situation.
A senior Pakistani diplomat in Islamabad on Thursday had said Sharif is conscious about the importance of Kashmir and would raise the issue at the UNGA. The diplomat said the Pakistan PM, however, would offer several steps to de-escalate the tension and establish peace along the Line of Control.
Sharif is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 30.
Last year too, Sharif had raked up Kashmir issue at the UN, evoking strong reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who protested to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying raising bilateral issues on such fora was not the way to resolve them.
Ban Ki-moon on Friday said he has always encouraged India and Pakistan for dialogue and the current General Assembly sessions provides a great opportunity for the leaders of the two countries to meet, even as India indicated that there was no bilateral meeting scheduled.
"The Secretary-General has always encouraged India and Pakistan to have a dialogue, and he has welcomed it when it has happened between various officials, and it is always an issue that he brings up in his various meetings with the Pakistani leadership and with the Indian leadership," Ban's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said yesterday.
India and Pakistan have been engaging in a war of words after the cancellation of the National Security Advisor-level talks in August. The two nations blame each other for frequent ceasefire violations along the LoC.