New Delhi/Colombo: A parliamentary delegation from India thwarted Pakistan’s attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at a UNICEF event in Sri Lanka, days after New Delhi scuttled another such bid at a regional meet in Maldives.
Pakistani delegates tried to rake up rights issues Tuesday in Kashmir at the UNICEF South Asian Parliamentarian Conference on Children Rights Convention in Colombo. However, it evoked a sharp reaction from the Indian side, with Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi slamming the neighbouring country’s record on rights issues of minorities.
Gaurav Gogoi reminded the Pakistani delegation of their country’s internal situation related to human rights, the plight of minorities and legislations such as the ‘blasphemy law’.
Gogoi and BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal, both part of the Indian delegation, were seen in a video footage of the event asserting that Kashmir was India’s internal matter.
Later, in a video statement, Gogoi said it was ‘highly unfortunate’ that at a child rights conference organised by the UNICEF, the Pakistani delegation tried to internationalise the matter of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We firmly reminded them that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and we are the largest democracy in the world. As stakeholders in the Indian democracy, an Indian voice will be heard, not that of a vested interest, not that of a foreign country, and not certainly that of Pakistan,” asserted Gogoi.
This comes after the Indian and Pakistani delegations had a heated exchange over Islamabad’s attempt to raise Kashmir issue Sunday at the ‘South Asian Speakers’ Summit’ in the Maldives. The Indian delegation at the summit said Pakistan should put an end to all state support to terrorism, which is the ‘biggest threat’ to humanity.