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‘India wants normal relation with Pakistan, BUT...’: Foreign Ministry

Here's what Arindam Bagchi the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs stated in response to a question about Meenakshi Lekhi, criticising Pakistan for speaking on the Kashmir issue at the CICA summit.

‘India wants normal relation with Pakistan, BUT...’: Foreign Ministry Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: India said on Friday that it supports normal relations with Pakistan as long as the environment is conducive and free of terrorism. Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, stated during a weekly press conference. He quoted, "We want normal relations with Pakistan, is a statement that we have always said. But it has to be in an atmosphere that is conducive and free from terrorism. I think that part is pretty well-known. I really don`t need to get into details." He said this in response to a question about Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi slamming Pakistan for speaking on the Kashmir issue at the CICA summit, Bagchi stated that her intervention has been made public and that he will not comment further because India has made its position on terrorism emanating from Pakistan clear.

During yesterday's Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit, MoS Lekhi slammed Pakistan, saying that Islamabad had misused the platform to spread false and malicious propaganda against India, and advised the neighbouring country to put its house in order before lecturing the global community.

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"It is unfortunate that Pakistan has chosen to once again misuse the CICA platform to propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country and distract from the theme and focus of today`s discussions and cooperation among the member states. The union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and will remain an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standing to comment on India`s internal affairs," MoS Lekhi said at the CICA Summit in Astana. 

"Pakistan`s remarks today constitute gross interference in India`s internal affairs, sovereignty, and territorial integrity which is inconsistent with the CICA declaration on the principles guiding relations between the CICA member states of September 1999," she states.

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Lekhi said it should cease cross-border terrorism against India."Pakistan is the global epicentre of terrorism and continues to be the source of terrorist activities including in India. Pakistan continues to make no investment in human development but provides their resources for creating and sustaining the infrastructure of terrorism," she quotes. 

(With agencies inputs)