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India irked over reference to occupied Kashmir in Pak-China joint statement

India irked over reference to occupied Kashmir in Pak-China joint statement

India is irked by the reference to occupied Kashmir in a joint statement issued by Pakistan and China following Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Pakistan on September 7-8, The Hindu newspaper reported.

According to The Hindu, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar on Tuesday rejected the Pak-China joint statement and called on Pakistan and China to stop China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related activities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Read: PM Imran assures China of CPEC projects’ speedy execution

Kumar was quoted as saying: "We reject the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement issued by China and Pakistan after the recent visit of Chinese Foreign Minister. J&K is an integral part of India."

Additionally, he said that India has consistently expressed concerns to both Pakistan and China about CPEC projects in AJK, which he claimed was "territory of India that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947".

He added that India was "resolutely opposed" to actions by any other countries to change the status quo of AJK.

"We call on the parties concerned to cease such actions," Kumar said.

According to the Pak-China joint statement issued on Sept 8, the Chinese foreign minister had met with President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa during his visit.

"During the meetings, both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest," read the statement, which mentioned numerous different matters discussed by the two sides.

The joint statement noted that both the Pakistani and Chinese side believed that the CPEC corridor "as a pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative" had entered a new phase of high-quality development.

"The two sides agreed to continue to firmly push forward the construction of CPEC, complete its on-going projects in a timely manner, and realise its full potential by focusing on socio-economic development, job creation and better livelihood and accelerating cooperation in industrial parks and agriculture.

"Both sides expressed satisfaction over the close cooperation between the two countries at multilateral fora and resolved to deepen strategic coordination and consultation."

The Pakistan China joint statement also noted that the two sides had exchanged views on the situation in occupied Kashmir.

"The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation, including its concerns, position, and urgent humanitarian issues. The Chinese side responded that it was paying close attention to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

"China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation," the statement read.

During his meeting with the Chinese foreign minister, Prime Minister Imran said Pakistan was committed to timely completion of projects under CPEC and hoped that more Chinese companies would make investments in the country.

The premier highlighted the importance of the proposed CPEC authority for speedy execution of the projects.

He had also briefed the Chinese minister on the situation in occupied Kashmir and both agreed on more high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China to further promote bilateral ties and shared goals.

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