India's stand on Kashmir unequivocal, well-articulated

Reacting to Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit's remarks yesterday on Indian policy on Kashmir, government sources said India's position on this issue was "unequivocal" and was "well-articulated" to all its friends and interlocutors.

"We are very clear in our mind that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India......And as a vibrant democracy, India has sufficient mechanisms and constitutional safeguards to address issues raised by its citizens in any part of the country," the sources said.
Basit had, in an interview yesterday in Islamabad, said that "when there is a change in Indian policy (on Kashmir issue), which has been inflexible in the past, then certainly talks will prove beneficial between the two countries."

Basit claimed that Jammu and Kashmir is not an integral part of India and the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved within the Constitution of India.
Replying to a question, Basit said the Kashmir issue had been discussed by the two countries for decades.

It was at the top of the agenda in the composite dialogue process but India "never seriously tried to resolve the issue," he claimed.
"Whenever the dialogue process is restored, we hope India will come up with a realistic approach," he said.

Pakistan has upped the ante on Kashmir in the last one month, claiming that there can be no result-oriented discussions with India on Kashmir unless New Delhi stops treating it as the country's integral part and seeking a solution within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

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