Never Accepted Kashmir's Accession To India: Pakistan

10 July 2014
Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad: Upping its ante, Pakistan Thursday asserted that it had never accepted Kashmir's accession to India saying that the UNSC mandate remains till the Kashmir issue is resolved. Reacting to India's move asking the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to vacate their office building in New Delhi, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said such measures would not have any impact on the legal status of the Kashmir dispute. 'Asking the UN observers to move out of a building or payment of rent is inconsequential in the context of the status of Jammu & Kashmir. There is a reason why UNMOGIP is present in the first place. Asking them to move out of the building does not abolish the mandate which was given by the UN Security Council in 1951 under Resolution 91.' 'As long as the Kashmir dispute is not resolved, the UNSC mandate remains. These measures are inconsequential and they do not have any impact on the legal status of the dispute,' she said. India's stand is that UNMOGIP's role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control. India on Tuesday said it has told the UNMOGIP to vacate its government bungalow to 'rationalise' the presence of the group which the government says has 'outlived its relevance'. Asserting that it has been India's 'consistent and long- standing view that UNMOGIP has outlived its mandate,' spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said they have 'monetised' various facilities extended to the organisation. UNMOGIP was given the premises free of charge 40 years ago. UNMOGIP observers have been located at the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since 1949 and supervise the truce between the two neighbours. Meanwhile, Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will meet soon to determine the process of dialogue between the two countries, the Foreign Office said here Thursday. A meeting between foreign secretaries of the two countries was agreed when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited India in May to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in her weekly briefing. 'They (Sharif and Modi) directed the two Foreign Secretaries to meet and look at how the process of dialogue is to be taken forward. That meeting would take place in not very distant future, though I cannot give you the exact date. That meeting would give indication where this process is headed. So we won't like to pass a judgment right now,' she said. During their bilateral meeting, Modi and Sharif had agreed that the Foreign Secretaries would remain in touch and explore how to move forward. The idea of foreign secretaries meeting to take forward ties has been reintroduced by the two countries after nearly two years. India and Pakistan have been, for the past two years, talking about meetings between their Director Generals of Military Operations in view of the spate of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).