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Didn't expect Zardari to rake up Kashmir at UNGA: India

By Yoshita Singh
October 02, 2012 14:58 IST
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India on Tuesday said it did not expect Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to rake up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly, affirming that the state is its integral part.

"I did not expect that President Zardari would make a reference to Kashmir and once a reference from Pakistan at the highest level in the UN is made, then it is certainly the responsibility of India to state its stated position," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told PTI.

His comments came as Pakistan, reacting to Krishna's reference to Kashmir in his UNGA address, claimed that Jammu and Kashmir had never been an integral part of India and said Zardari's statement on the issue was 'not unwarranted'.

Krishna, in his address to the 193-member General Assembly, had said that 'an unwarranted' reference to Jammu and Kashmir was made from the UN podium. "... We wish to make it abundantly clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India," he had said in his address.

Krishna on Tuesday said his remark on Kashmir should be read in the right sequence. "Read this (reference to Kashmir) in the sequence in which it emerges," he said, adding he had to respond to Zardari's speech.

Krishna added that he had not said anything new regarding Kashmir in his UNGA address. "This is the position which India has taken over decades so I reiterated that position so that it would be some kind of response to what the President of Pakistan told this General Assembly," he said, adding that 'nothing more' needs to be read to the statements on the issue either from him or Zardari.

When asked whether the issue of Kashmir being raked up at international fora like the UN could be an irritant to efforts being made by the two countries to normalise their ties, Krishna said, "We will continue our dialogue with Pakistan and the road map has been drawn and we will try to stick to the road map and let us see how it goes."

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