Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail has termed the shifting of the venue of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU) meeting from Islamabad to New York after Pakistan refused to invite the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker “a victory for India”.
Butail, who was scheduled to attend the meeting from September 30 to October 8 along with other delegates from India, said Pakistan had tried to humiliate India by not inviting Jammu and Kashmir Speaker Kavinder Gupta. “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and it was unethical on Pakistan’s part to spark a controversy over the Kashmir issue,” he said.
The CPU upheld India’s stand on Kashmir and the meeting venue was shifted to New York.
Butail said that during the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) meeting in Cameroon, it had been decided that the CPU meet would be held in Islamabad. “Pakistan was keen to host this meet but its real intention was to insult us by raising the Kashmir issue (on an international platform),” Butail said, adding: “Kashmir is not an issue but a part of India.”
Asked if he would be attending the meeting in New York as Pakistan would also be there, Butail said the call would be taken by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. “I am ready to go. I was even ready to go to Pakistan but not at the cost of national integrity,” he added.