Kashmir: India talks tough, tells China to mind its own business

Kashmir: India talks tough, tells China to mind its own business
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. File photo
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New Delhi/Colombo: India on Tuesday rejected China's objection to its move to create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh, terming it an internal matter of the country.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and it expects nations to do likewise.

China on Tuesday said it was "seriously concerned" about the current situation in Kashmir and called for avoiding actions which unilaterally change the status quo.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also expressed China's opposition to India's move to create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh.

"The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill 2019, introduced by the government in Parliament on August 5, which proposes the formation of a new 'Union Territory of Ladakh' is an internal matter concerning the territory of India," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

He was responding to a query on comments made by the Chinese spokesperson.

"India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise," Kumar said.

On India-China boundary issue, he said two sides have agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the matter on the basis of the political parameters and guiding principles to resolve it.

"Pending such a settlement, both sides have agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas on the basis of the relevant agreements," he said.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory highlighting China's claims over the area.

"China always opposes India's inclusion of Chinese territory in the western section of the China-India boundary under its administrative jurisdiction," she said.

The government revoked provisions of Article 370 which give special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be split into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Colombo backs creation of Ladakh UT

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka on Tuesday backed the Indian government's creation of a new Union Territory of Ladakh, noting it would be the first Indian state with a Buddhist majority.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a tweet, also said that the creation of Ladakh and the restructuring of Jammu and Kashmir are India's internal matters.

"I understand Ladakh will finally become a Union Territory. With over 70 per cent Buddhist, it will be the first Indian state with a Buddhist majority. The creation of Ladakh and the consequential restructuring are India's internal matters. I have visited Ladakh and it is worth a visit," he tweeted.

UAE backs India

The United Arab Emirates backed India on its decision to revoke provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two union territories.

The Gulf nation's ambassador to India Ahmad Al Banna said he viewed India's decisions relating to Jammu and Kashmir as an internal matter of the country.

"We expect that the changes would improve social justice and security and confidence of the people in the local governance and will encourage further stability and peace," he was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.

The envoy said the UAE has taken note of the India's decision on Jammu and Kashmir and on revoking provisions of the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

"We also took note of the introduction of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Indian Parliament aimed at replacing Article 370 with the creation of Ladakh region and the state of Jammu and Kashmir as India's two new Union Territories," he said.

He observed that the reorganisation of states is not a unique incident in the history of independent India and that it was mainly aimed at reducing regional disparity and improving efficiency.

UK following developments

The United Kingdom was closely following the developments in Jammu and Kashmir, British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith said on Tuesday.

The envoy, however, said it is not for the British government to mediate or interfere in the matter concerning India and Pakistan.

"What is happening now, obviously, we are looking very closely ...and very keen that people keep calm about what is happening in the valley on both sides of the border. So encouraging calm approach," he told PTI on the sidelines of a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

"It is not for the United Kingdom to mediate or interfere in the issue between India and Pakistan and that has been the position.

It is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan which we very much hope will be resolved," he said.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)

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