Territorial integrity is 'non-negotiable': Govt | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Territorial integrity is 'non-negotiable': Govt

delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2008 11:00 IST
PTI
Territorial integrity is 'non-negotiable': Govt

Rejecting calls for separation of Jammu and Kashmir, the government has asserted that the country's territorial integrity is "non-negotiable" and the borders cannot be "altered or redrawn".

The government also ridiculed the Hurriyat Conference leaders for claiming to be the representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, saying it had no justification as the separatists have never tested their popularity in elections.

"Any such talk (of secession) is preposterous and in conflict with Constitution and law of the land," Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said here.

"The country's borders cannot be altered, or redrawn and Constitution cannot be rewritten," he said, adding "territorial integrity is non-negotiable."

His comment came in the backdrop of calls for secession of Jammu and Kashmir made by separatist leaders as well as a few prominent people like author Arundhuti Roy.

Sharma said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had maintained that all issues can be resolved through dialogue.

On whether talks would be held with Hurriyat which is leading a stir in the valley, the minister said the government is ready to talk to "all those who are willing and positive."

He lashed out at the Hurriyat, saying "those with separatist agenda cannot claim to be representatives of people. Those who have never contested elections, can't claim to represent people."

Sharma also accused BJP of "keeping partisan political agenda above national interest" and "supporting communal polarisation which is hurtful to the national interest."

"When we have an unsettled situation, it is expected of all responsible leaders and mainstream political parties to work together in the interest of the nation," he said.