Pakistan’s foreign minister has raised concerns over the ongoing conflict in Indian-administered Kashmir, provoking a sharp reaction from India.
Relations between the two nuclear neighbours were severely damaged by the Mumbai attacks
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the international community should ask India to “end its repression in Kashmir”.
Indian counterpart SM Krishna said Mr Qureshi’s comments were “unacceptable”.
Over 100 people have died in anti-Indian protests in Kashmir in the past two months.
Relations soured after India accused Pakistan of failing to counter Islamist attacks in India.
The neighbours agreed to remain in touch after a meeting of the foreign ministers in Islamabad in July.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly Mr Qureshi said the dispute in Kashmir is about the right to “self-determination” by Kashmiri people through a “free, fair and impartial plebiscite” under the supervision of the UN.
India has distanced itself from the UN resolutions in the past on a settlement to the problem through a plebiscite.
“Pakistan reaffirms its complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people, and urges the international community to persuade India to end its repression in Kashmir,” he said.
Indian counterpart SM Krishna said he was “disappointed” with Mr Qureshi’s “unacceptable references” to Kashmir, and described his remarks as “unsolicited and untenable”.
“Pakistan is a country that has enormous and serious challenges confronting it. Such unsolicited and untenable remarks will not and indeed, cannot, divert attention from the multiple problems Pakistan needs to tackle for the common good of its people, and indeed of the entire region,” Mr Krishna said.
Mr Qureshi also said Islamabad was willing to hold talks with India on an all “outstanding issues, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Last week, the Indian government announced a range of measures designed to defuse tension in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since an armed revolt erupted in 1989.
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