India foreign secy summons Pakistan envoy
India's Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood late yesterday night and lodged a strong protest against Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's phone call to a moderate Kashmir separatist leader saying such action tantamount to a "direct interference" in India's internal affairs.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned by the Indian Foreign Secretary at 10:30pm in connection with the telephone conversation initiated by Qureshi with separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Jammu and Kashmir state on Tuesday, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Gokhale conveyed to Sohail Mahmood "India's condemnation in the strongest terms of this latest brazen attempt by Pakistan to subvert India's unity and to violate our sovereignty and territorial integrity by none other than the Pakistan Foreign Minister," India's External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
"The Indian Foreign Secretary conveyed that "this deplorable act has violated all norms for the conduct of international relations even by Pakistan's own standards. The Pakistan Foreign Minister's actions are tantamount to direct interference in the internal affairs of its neighbor," it said.
According to the statement, the Foreign Secretary "underscored that by this action Pakistan has confirmed yet again that it officially abets and encourages individuals associated with terrorism and anti-India activities. It has exposed to the entire international community Pakistan's duplicity in professing their desire for normal relations with India on the one hand, while openly inciting anti-India activities on the other.
"The Pakistan High Commissioner was categorically told by the Indian Foreign Secretary that India "expects Pakistan to desist forthwith from such actions" and he was cautioned that "persistence of such behaviour by Pakistan will have implications." It was made clear to the Pakistani envoy that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and shall remain the integral part of India and that Pakistan has no locus standi in any matters related to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani foreign minister's telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was viewed by New Delhi as an extremely unusual action.
Media reports from Pakistan quoted Shah Mehmood Qureshi as telling the Mirwaiz about Pakistan's efforts to internationalize the Kashmir issue.
India has consistently rejected any third-party interference in the Kashmir issue which New Delhi regards as a purely bilateral matter with Islamabad.