United Nations/New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India, and all the issues relating to the Union Territory of J&K are an internal affair of the country, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN T.S. Tirumurti stated as India began its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council.
Answering questions after India took over the rotating presidency of the 15-member UNSC for the month of August, Tirumurti, answering a question on J&K and the UN resolution, said: “Right at the outset I want to make it very clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India.”
“And the issues relating to the Union Territory of J&K are an internal affair of India.”
He said that the members of the UN Security Council, when the issue of J&K was brought up earlier, “almost all of them agreed that this issue was not for the Council to discuss.”
He stressed that the 1972 Simla Agreement, “which has been mentioned by the UN Secretary General himself, provides that the resolution of differences between the parties should be resolved by peaceful means and by bilateral negotiations”.
“Since Pakistan has signed off on this we hope they will follow through on this and implement the provisions of the Simla Agreement,” he said.
On the constitutional changes brought about on Jammu and Kashmir, he said that “these relate to the temporary provisions on J&K, including an Article 370 of the constitution. Let me mention to you that the changes have been brought through established parliamentary procedures and it is well within the framework of the Constitution of India to effect these changes. So any change or modification to Article 370 is the sole prerogative of the Republic of India.”
To a question by a media person that during their meeting earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that poverty is the main enemy of the two countries, Tirumurti said that “India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan.”
“And our consistent position on the issue is that if there are issues between India and Pakistan it should be resolved bilaterally and peacefully. And we have the Simla agreement which provides for a bilateral discussion and resolution of issues. And this should be resolved in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence.”
“And therefore the onus right now is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible and verifiable action not to allow any territory under their control to be used for cross -border terrorism against India. And Pakistan must prove its consistency between its words and its actions.”
He answered in the same vein to a senior Pakistani journalist who posed a question online on the changed status of Jammu and Kashmir.
To the Pakistani journalist persisting with his question, the Indian top diplomat said that if anything needed to be changed “it is the vacation of Pakistan occupied Kashmir”.
“As I told you Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. If there needs to be a change in status it is the vacation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,” he added.
On August 1, India took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August. India’s two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council began on January 1, 2021.