Strongly reacting to external affairs minister SM Krishna's reference to Kashmir at the UN, Pakistan has claimed that Jammu and Kashmir had never been an integral part of the country and said President Asif Ali Zardari's statement on the issue was "not unwarranted".
Pakistan's mission to the UN said it was exercising its 'Right of Reply' regarding the remarks made by the minister that an "unwarranted" reference to Jammu and Kashmir was made at the United Nations.
In the Right of Reply submitted to the UN General Assembly president following Krishna's address, Pakistan's Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar said, "Let me begin by emphasising that the reference to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in the President of Pakistan's statement was not 'unwarranted'."
"Let me also make absolutely clear that Jammu and Kashmir is neither an integral part of India nor has it ever been," a statement issued by the Pakistan mission here quoted Tarar as saying.
Tarar quoted from Zardari's speech at the UN last week in which the Pakistan President had said that Kashmir remained a "symbol of the failures" and not the strengths of the UN system.
Raking up the Kashmir issue at the UN yet again, Zardari had said that Pakistan would continue to support the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to peacefully choose their destiny in accordance with the UN Security Council's resolutions on the matter.
"The President of Pakistan said no more, no less," Tarar said.
Krishna, who addressed the 193-member General Assembly on Monday, said "an unwarranted" reference to Jammu and Kashmir was made from the UN podium.
He said the country's principled position on the issue had been consistent and was well known.
"The people of Jammu and Kashmir have chosen and reaffirmed their destiny repeatedly through India's well- established democratic processes. We wish to make it abundantly clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India," Krishna said in his address.