July 2017 News

India Snubs China 'offer' On Kashmir

13 July 2017
Times of India

New Delhi: India brushed aside China's 'offer' of playing a constructive role in resolving the Kashmir dispute on Thursday, saying cross-border terrorism was at the heart of the matter and there was no change in India's understanding that issues with Pakistan were to be resolved bilaterally. The MEA's response came after the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that Beijing was willing to play a constructive role in improving India-Pakistan ties, especially because of the hostility along the Line of Control. The attempt to rake up J&K has been seen as a reflection of China's annoyance at Indian action in blocking its attempt to build a road through Bhutanese territory and alter the status quo to its benefit near Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction. The MEA's remarks suggested it would be more beneficial for China to pay attention to Pakistan's support to terrorism and not against India in particular. 'At the heart of the matter is really the issue of cross-border terrorism perpetrated on India, including on J&K. So, the matter is that cross-border terrorism in our region emanating from a particular source is threatening peace and stability not only in India but other neighbours,' MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on Thursday. Baglay also reiterated that diplomacy was the way to resolve the standoff between Indian and Chinese militaries at Doklam plateau. 'We have diplomatic channels available. We have embassies in both countries. Those channels will continue to be used.' Baglay said the government's position on J&K had been very consistent and clear that it was a bilateral dispute. He also strongly rejected allegations by Pakistan that India was using chemical weapons in Kashmir, saying India was against the use of chemical weapons anywhere by anyone in any situation. Baglay hit out at the Pakistani government for reading from Lashkar-e-Taiba's terror script in levelling such allegations and glorifying Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani. 'It was quite surprising to see the government is taking its cue from an internationally banned terrorist organisation,' he said.