New Delhi, Oct. 20 (PTI): New Delhi today rejected a proposal by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for US intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue, asserting the state was an integral part of India and trying to question this was a “waste of time”.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid made it clear that India would not accept any US intervention, as sought by Sharif today ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama, as New Delhi and Islamabad had agreed earlier that the matter was a bilateral issue.
“There is no way in which India will accept any intervention on an issue that is entirely accepted in the Simla Agreement as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan,” Khurshid told NDTV.
He iterated that Kashmir was an integral part of India and no one should raise a question on that. “It is a waste of time for anybody, no matter how eminent, to be even trying to question it.”
The rival BJP supported the government, with senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi saying no third party had the right to interfere in the matter and appealed to Obama to reject Sharif’s proposal. “Nawaz Sharif’s statement on US intervention is not accepted.”
Senior CPI leader D. Raja echoed the view. “Why should the US be allowed to interfere in an issue being dealt with by India and Pakistan? The Pakistan government should realise this. Islamabad had earlier tried to internationalise this issue, but failed.”
A US government statement late tonight said: “Our policy on Kashmir has not changed an iota.”