India dismissed on Friday charges leveled by Pakistan of raising a wall along a disputed border between the two countries in violation of United Nations resolutions, saying Islamabad’s letters to the world body were old and contradictory.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said two letters by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Maheela Lodhi, were written earlier this month and India was aware of its contents. He rejected allegations that India wasn’t engaging in bilateral dialogue.
“The first letter written on September 4, states there was no bilateral dialogue. After that, the BSF and Pakistan Rangers have met. So the letter contradicted itself as there was a dialogue,” Swarup said.
“As far as the second letter is concerned, I believe it is based on a submission made by Salahuddin, who India considers a terrorist.”
Lodhi wrote to Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin, president of the security council, alleging India was planning to construct a 10-meter high and 135-feet wide embankment (wall) along the 197-km Line of Control between India and Pakistan.
The planned wall was to convert the LoC “into a quasi international border”, the letter said.
Swarup countered the allegations, saying India would respond appropriately if the UN took any action.
“If no action is taken by the UN, it itself tells that nobody has taken cognizance”, he said. There was no fresh letter from Pakistan to the UN, he added.
Pakistan-based militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen, had earlier claimed India was building a “great wall” along the troubled Line of Control.
“In order to turn Kashmir into a prison, India is busy in constructing a great wall on using Israeli made concertina wires and it is the collective responsibility of both Pakistani and Kashmiri leadership to foil the designs of India,” said Hizb spokesperson Salim Hashmi, quoting the organisation’s chief commander Syed Salahuddin.
The controversy comes in the way of heightened tensions between the two countries at the sensitive border with multiple ceasefire violations that have resulted in several civilian deaths on both sides.
The border state of Jammu and Kashmir has also been hit with a spate of terrorist attacks, including a deadly ambush on a Border Security Force convoy that left two soldiers dead and an earlier terror strike in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district that killed seven people. In March, back-to-back terror attacks also killed several people.