India slams Pakistan for raising Kashmir issue at IPU

Congress leader  Shashi Tharoor

An Indian delegation hit out at Pakistan on Wednesday for raising the Kashmir issue at the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly in Serbia, saying it is ironic that a state responsible for countless terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir is trying to masquerade as its champion.

Speaking for the Indian delegation which was headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said Parliament of India will not allow these malicious efforts to succeed. "We expect better from parliamentarians then vituperative mudslinging," he said.

"The Indian delegation rebutted baseless allegations of the Pakistani delegation about Jammu and Kashmir at two different sessions," the Lok Sabha secretariat said in a statement and also shared videos of Tharoor's remarks.

He said that Pakistan had raised an issue internal to India and extraneous to their discussions for narrow political gains. The Indian delegation rejected outright and strongly condemned such references, Tharoor said.

"Madam chairperson I am a member of Parliament from the leading opposition party in India and we will continue to use our Parliament to discuss and debate with our government on Kashmir and other issues. We will fight our own battles democratically and don't need or welcome interference from across the border," he said.

Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, Tharoor said, "...it is ironic that a state which is responsible for infecting countless cross-border terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir is trying to masquerade as the champion of Kashmir."

He said the Indian delegation hoped that the Pakistani delegation from Pakistan would refrain from misusing the forum again and in collective interests of the parliaments of the world focus on serious issues that are under discussion at the IPU assembly.

The Indian parliamentary delegation is in Serbia's Belgrade city to attend the 141st assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to be held from October 13-17.

The delegation comprises MPs from across the party lines, including Tharoor, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Wansuk Syiem, Ram Kumar Verma and Sasmit Patra.

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