Modi’s Balochistan reference ruined Indian stance on AJK: Salman Khurshid

A file photo of Salman Khurshid. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of Salman Khurshid. PHOTO: AFP

Former Indian External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid has criticised Indian Prime Minister for making a reference of ‘atrocities’ in Balochistan in his Independence Day address.

In his annual speech to the nation on Monday, Narendra Modi accused Pakistan of committing human rights violations in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Last week, Modi had accused Pakistan of fomenting trouble in held Kashmir, warning that it would have to answer for ‘rights violations’ in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir.

Balochistan terms Modi’s remarks confession of Indian meddling in province

“Is Balochistan a part of India? Doesn’t India believe in Panchsheel? Is it not a departure from that,” the Congressman asked in an interview hours after Modi’s speech.

“By raising Balochistan, he said, the government is ruining its case on Azad Kashmir,” he added.

The Panchsheel is referred in India as Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, forming the virtues of the relationship between the former and the People’s Republic of China.

“We do this in private conversations… between diplomats and leaders… and convey our concerns. We don’t make these pronouncements as policy pronouncements,” Khurshid maintained.

Indian PM assails Pakistan in Independence Day address

The former foreign minister went on to add that no Indian premier had spoken about Balochistan from the ramparts of the Red Fort, warning there will be a fallout of the act.

However, the Congressman’s own Indian National Congress termed Khurshid’s stance his personal opinion, asserting that India should raise the ‘atrocities’ not just with Pakistan but also in the internationally.

Indian premier’s reference of Balochistan drew a blistering rebuke from PM Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on foreign policy on Monday who termed it a proof that New Delhi was fomenting terrorism in the volatile province.

Intelligence agencies arrested Kulbushan Yadav, an agent of Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) while crossing into Balochistan from neighbouring Iran in March this year.

India ignoring Pakistan’s overtures for peace: Salman Khurshid

Yadav, a senior officer of the Indian navy, confessed in a subsequent video statement that RAW was stoking unrest in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan and Karachi.

The two nuclear-armed arch-rivals have been involved in a tense war of words on Indian atrocities in held Kashmir following the recent killing of a popular rebel Burhan Wani.

The situation has been deteriorating ever since as more than 60 unarmed protesters have been killed in the held valley at the hands of Indian security forces, also by indiscriminate use of pellet guns.

With input from The Indian Express

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