'No question of any third party intervention' in 'bilateral issue' of J-K: Khurshid

New Delhi, Oct. 20 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday ruled out the possibility of United States of America intervening in the India-Pakistan dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, and said that the region is an integral part of the country which will not be compromised at any cost.

"There been a setback to our dialogue because recent events that happened and there has been an attempt to see if it can be revived. But, this (seeking intervention) is not the way. We will not budge on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. I think our Prime Minister said this very clearly to the Pakistani Prime Minister when they met in New York," Khurshid said.

Making a comment on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's recent statement seeking American intervention in the issue, Khurshid maintained that New Delhi has strongly maintained its position on Jammu and Kashmir even at the top-most level of dialogue.

"Our position has been stated very clearly for a very long time. This is a position which everyone accepts, including the United States of America. I think there is no scope whatsoever of any change or accommodation in this," Khurshid said.

"Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India-we cherish it, we value it. It is part of the sense and the description of our identity and our sense as a nation. So, there is no question of anybody-friend or foe-interfering with this idea," he added.

Khurshid pointed out that India has made it very clear in the Shimla Agreement, which was signed voluntarily by both sides, that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue which will be settled bilaterally.

Complimenting the Centre's strategy of pursuing talks with Pakistan, post the Agreement, Khurshid said : "We have occasions on which, as part of the composite dialogue, we have agreed that even the issue of Jammu and Kashmir can be raised without compromising on our position."

Khurshid said that he was confident that the US understood and supported the position of New Delhi, as India has constantly reiterated its stand on the matter.

"I think the United States of America knows this very well. We are comforted in our understanding that they appreciate this and there is no question of any third party intervention," Khurshid said.

"We are responding by saying that this is not acceptable. We have stated consistently over a long period that this is not acceptable and I don't think that this is in the interest of anybody in the region or the world. I'm sure the United States understands this much better than most people. ...We have strongly repudiated it," he added.

According to a foreign news agency, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a three-day official visit to Washington, said on Saturday that the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan could be resolved through US intervention.

He also said that both India and Pakistan were nuclear powers, and the region was a nuclear flash point, and added that the world powers should get involved to resolve this issue, even though India does not favour such intervention. (ANI)

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