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India raises pitch against Pakistan, asks it to ‘vacate all areas under illegal occupation’

Modi govt slams 'so-called' China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, says it is in 'India’s territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan'.

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NEW DELHI: New Delhi Thursday slammed Pakistan and asked Islamabad to “vacate all areas under illegal occupation”, even as it came down heavily on Beijing over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said it is inside India’s territory.

India Thursday also reacted against Taliban leaders visiting China and meeting the country’s leaders there.

Reacting to the recent elections held in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs Thursday said it was a “cosmetic exercise”.

“The so-called elections in Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes undertaken by it in these territories. Pakistan has no locus standi on these Indian territories. We call upon Pakistan to vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation,” Bagchi said at a media briefing.

Bagchi added that India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities on this “cosmetic exercise, which has been protested and rejected by the local people.”

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‘UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh integral part of India’

Bagchi also said that the “so-called” China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is in “India’s territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.”

“The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh has been and will remain an integral and inalienable part of India … We resolutely oppose any attempts by other countries to change the status quo in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan as also to Pakistan bringing up any material change in Indian territories under its illegal occupation. We call upon parties concerned to cease such actions,” the MEA spokesperson said.

Bagchi’s comment comes in the wake of a meeting between China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on CPEC, held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province of China last week.

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‘Unilateral imposition of will won’t bring peace in Afghanistan’

India also reacted to Taliban leaders visiting China Wednesday and meeting the leadership there. The meeting happened at the same time as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to New Delhi.

India said “unilateral imposition of will” by any party will not lead to the creation of a stable and democratic Afghanistan

“As you now, we are closely monitoring developments in Afghanistan … I would like to reiterate that India, and the world, wishes to see an independent, sovereign, democratic and stable Afghanistan, at peace with itself and neighbours,” he said.

“Unilateral imposition of will by any party will not be democratic, cannot lead to stability, and cannot provide legitimacy. Gains over the last two decades should be preserved.”

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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