India rejects 'unwarranted' references to J&K in China-Pak joint statement

Statement issued in Beijing on 7 June after talks between Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese premier Li Qiang

Pm Modi and Chinese president XI Jinping (file photo)
Pm Modi and Chinese president XI Jinping (file photo)

NH Digital

India on Thursday categorically rejected "unwarranted" references to Jammu and Kashmir in a latest joint statement by China and Pakistan, and asserted that the Union territory and Ladakh have been, are and will always remain its integral parts.

The joint statement was issued in Beijing on 7 June following talks between Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

India also criticised the mention of projects under the "so-called" China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the joint statement, and said New Delhi rejects any moves to "reinforce or legitimise Islamabad's illegal occupation of territories". The CPEC passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"We have noted unwarranted references to the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir in the joint statement between China and Pakistan of June 7. We categorically reject such references," external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

"Our position on the issue is consistent and well known to the concerned parties. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been, are and will always remain integral and inalienable parts of India," he said.

The move was apparently a direct retort to China’s renaming of 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh in April, which India strongly objected to. China’s previous actions include releasing lists of standardised names for places in Arunachal Pradesh since 2017, with the latest list containing almost as many new names as the previous three combined.

Jaiswal was responding to a media query on the joint statement. "No other country has the locus standi to comment on the same," he said.

In March this year, announcing a march to the LAC (Line of Actual Control) from Ladakh, climate activist and educationist Sonam Wangchuk had said locals have already lost about 1,50,000 sq km of prime grazing land in Ladakh, and that encroaching from the north, China had captured large parts of land in the last few years. Some people had also allegedly told Wangchuk that owing to the India-China border dispute, at least 26 of the total 65 patrolling points in eastern Ladakh were not being patrolled.

In April, the Congress had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "ineffective and feeble" response to China for its border transgressions, and demanded that he apologise to 140 crore Indians for his June 2020 statement that no one had entered India, nor had anyone occupied any post.

"The prime minister had a chance to send a powerful message to China. However, his ineffective and feeble response is likely to only encourage China further in asserting its claim on Indian territory," Congress MP and general-secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh had said.

On 11 June, it was reported that the new NDA government under PM Modi has approved the renaming of 30 places in Tibet, in an apparent response to China’s 'nomenclature aggression' in Arunachal Pradesh. The new names are to be released by the Indian Army and updated on their maps along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as reported by News18.

The new China-Pakistan joint statement said the Pakistani side had briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir. It said the Chinese side reiterated that the "Jammu and Kashmir dispute is left over from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements".

The MEA spokesperson also took strong note of the CPEC which featured in the joint statement. "The same joint statement also mentions activities and projects under the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), some of which are in India's sovereign territory under forcible and illegal occupation by Pakistan," he said. "We resolutely oppose and reject any moves by other countries to reinforce or legitimise Pakistan's illegal occupation of these territories, impinging on India's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

With agency inputs

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