Rebuffing China’s offer, India on Thursday ruled out any third party mediation on Kashmir about which it is ready to talk to Pakistan at a bilateral level as terrorism is at the core of the problem between the two countries.Reacting to the Chinese Foreign Office spokesperson’s remarks that China was ready to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said cross-border terrorism was at the heart of the issues between New Delhi and Islamabad.
“Our stand is absolutely clear. You are all aware of the fact that at the heart of the matter is the issue of terrorism perpetrated on India, including on the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. So, the matter is that cross-border terrorism in our region emanating from a particular force is threatening the peace and stability in not only India but other neighbours and also the entire region and the world,” Baglay said in his weekly media briefing.
“As far as the Kashmir issue is concerned, you know that the government’s position has been very consistent and clear. We are ready, we have been ready to have dialogue with Pakistan… That position of addressing all the issues with Pakistan, including Jammu and Kashmir, in a bilateral framework has not changed.”
The Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday offered to play a “constructive role” in improving India-Pakistan ties over Kashmir where the “situation has attracted the attention of the international community”. Baglay also rubbished Pakistan media reports hinting at use of chemical weapons in Kashmir. “The claims are completely baseless and incorrect. India is against the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world.” He said it was “quite surprising” to see what the government of Pakistan was talking about and reading from the terror script of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. “They have taken a leaf out of the book of Lashkar-e-Taiba on those ridiculous comments. The government is taking its cue from an internationally banned terrorist organisation,” he added.