Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the people of that state have chosen that destiny for themselves, India told the UN general assembly in New York on Monday.
SM Krishna brought up Kashmir in his speech in response to remarks by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari saying the issue was a symbol of the UN’s failure.
“The people of Jammu and Kashmir have chosen and reaffirmed their destiny repeatedly through India’s well established democratic processes,” said Krishna. Zardari had said in his speech to the UN on September 26: “Kashmir remains a symbol of failures, rather than strengths of the UN system.”
“We will 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 long-standing resolutions on this matter,” he added.
But the people of Jammu and Kashmir had already chosen their destiny, Krishna said in his speech in the context of India’s ongoing efforts to establish “constructive and friendly relations with all its neighbours”.
“We have embarked on a resumed dialogue process with Pakistan and advocate a step-by-step approach to normalising our bilateral relations,” said Krishna.
Even the mandatory reference to Pakistan-based terrorist networks was made without mentioning their hosts, and it came in the context of Afghanistan, not India.
“The continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists beyond Afghanistan’s borders is the major impediment to the restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan.”
The external affairs minister also reiterated India’s demand for reforming the UN Security Council and other world bodies such as the IMF.