New Delhi: Condemning as “highly irresponsible” the statements by Pakistani leadership after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, India on Thursday said they are intended to project an “alarmist” situation far from the ground realities, and asked Pakistan to behave as a normal neighbour.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also dismissed the letter written by Pakistani minister Shireen Mazari to the UN on alleged human rights violation by India in J&K, asserting that it was “not worth the paper it was written on”.
He also said India was informed by Pakistan about test-firing nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Ghaznavi’ as part of the established confidence-building measures (CBMs).
Asked about provocative statements made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and some other ministers, he said,”we condemn the highly irresponsible statements made by the Pakistani leadership on matters internal to India. These statements include references to jihad and to incite violence in India.”
Kumar further asserted that “this is intended to project an alarmist situation which is far from the ground realities. Pakistan needs to understand that the world has seen through their provocative and unsubstantiated rhetoric which is based on lies and deceit.”
Asking Pakistan to start behaving like a normal neighbour, Kumar said,”what do normal neighbours do, they do not push terrorists in a neighbouring country. You do normal talk, normal trade.”
“We are all aware Pakistan has been using cross-border terrorism as an instrument of its state policy. We have been continuing to highlight our concerns with them. Pakistan has an obligation to take action against terrorists and terror groups operating from its soil,” he said.
On Pakistan Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Wednesday wrote a letter to 18 UN officials, Kumar said he does not want to lend any credence to the letter by reacting to it.
“They should see what is happening in their house before making statements and everybody knows what is happening, their house is on fire,” he said.
Asked about intelligence inputs of a possible infiltration by terrorists through the sea route, Kumar confirmed that there have been such inputs and said that security forces are prepared to “deal with any eventuality”.
On some international organisations raising concerns with India on rights issues, Kumar said India “completely rejects” such unsubstantiated statements.
“These are not based on facts. Facts are being presented on a regular basis by the district administration in J&K,” he said.
Referring to J&K Governor’s statement made on Wednesday, Kumar also listed several steps to be taken by the administration such as 50,000 vacancies will be filled up in government departments, minimum suport price for the apple crop, and Nafed committing 5,000 crores for procuring apple production of the state.
The spokesperson also said that “certain manual interventions” were there which were required.
The government has also announced that it would ensure the preservation and protection of heritage, language and identity of the region, Kumar said.
He also reiterated the announcement made by the Governor that elections to the block development council would be completed by October.
In terms of restrictions which have been imposed, out of the 197 police stations, there are no-day time restrictions in 167 police stations in J&K, Kumar said.
He also dismissed reports that there was shortage of essential drugs in J&K.
“The local government is handling the situation with maturity and restraint. Not a single life has been lost, not a single live bullet has been fired. The administration is putting all the necessary resources so that normalcy returns to the state as soon as possible,” Kumar said.
“If you look at the situation on the 5th (August) and now, there has been a gradual but a positive improvement in the situation on the ground. Let us not compare the situation there and other parts of the country,” he said.
On reports of Pakistan closing its airspace, Kumar said there has been no official statement from Pakistan confirming that they have closed the airspace.
“What we understand is that there was a notice to airmen which was issued for diversion of certain sectors or certain routes temporarily reasons for which Pakistan has to share,” he said.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.