India Reacts To Miliband’s Comments

15 January 2009
The Hindu

New Delhi: India on Thursday disagreed with visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s views on Kashmir, saying that it does not need “unsolicited advice” on internal issues such as Jammu & Kashmir. Mr. Miliband had earlier raised hackles here by observing that he did not agree with the view that some Pakistani agencies appeared to be involved in the Mumbai attacks. However, India chose not to react to that observation. This time, Foreign Office spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said: “Mr. Miliband is entitled to his views, which are clearly his own and are evolving. India is a free country and, even if we do not share his views, he is free to express them. However, we do not need unsolicited advice on internal issues in India like J&K.” Writing in The Guardian on Thursday, Mr. Miliband had said that during his visit to south Asia this week, he was arguing that “the best antidote to the terrorist threat in the long term is cooperation.” He further wrote: “Although I understand the current difficulties, resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms, and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders.” Indian diplomatic sources said the British Foreign Secretary’s understanding of the situation was one-dimensional. The Mumbai attacks, during which members of the Jewish community and other foreigners were especially targeted, were part of the mentality of global jihad being pursued by organisations like the LeT. The LeT says its goal is to restore Islamic rule over the whole of South Asia, Russia and China, besides destroying India. This is completely in tune with Wahabi ideology which does not restrict the activities of its followers to a specific region or to local grievances, the sources added.