Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

India expects to gain control over Pakistan Kashmir one day, foreign minister says

Comments increase heat in territorial dispute

India's foreign minister said on Tuesday that the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan belonged to India and that he expected New Delhi to gain control over it one day.

India rules the heavily populated Kashmir Valley while Pakistan controls a wedge of territory in the west of the disputed region, which Delhi calls Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"Our position on [the area] is, has always been and will always be very clear," Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said.

"It is part of India and we expect one day that we will have the jurisdiction, physical jurisdiction over it."

Last month, New Delhi withdrew the special status of its part of Muslim-majority Kashmir in a bid to integrate the territory fully into India, a move that has prompted protests and anger in Kashmir and Pakistan.

Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, said his government's position on Kashmir had not changed. Pakistan has said that the dispute over the region should be resolved by the UN.

The two countries, both nuclear-powers, have twice gone to war over Kashmir.

Pakistan has condemned India's decision to change Kashmir's status and said India's crackdown on protests and dissent there would drive more of the world's Muslims into extremism.

But Mr Jaishankar said revoking Kashmir's special rights was an internal Indian matter and that the only issue on the table was an end to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

Updated: September 18, 2019 01:45 AM

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