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MEA Spokesman's official Statement on Pakistan's claim on Kashmir

October 8, 1998
New Delhi

Statement of MEA's Official Spokesman on Pakistan's claim on Kashmir

 In response to a question, the Official Spokesman dismissed as utterly absurd
  Pakistan's claim that it would negotiate on behalf of the "Kashmir people" at the
  forthcoming India - Pakistan talks in Islamabad and that the "Kashmir people" will,
  at a later stage, be involved in these talks. The Official Spokesman reiterated that the
  state of Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and a part of the territory of
  the state is under the illegal and forcible occupation of Pakistan. In keeping with the
  Simla Agreement, India is committed to a resolution of all issues, including this issue,
  through peaceful negotiations.

 During the forthcoming talks, India will also strongly take up Pakistan's abetting of
  terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan's attempts at destabilising the state by
  sponsoring terrorism are continuing unabated. India has successfully thwarted the
  challenge of the terrorists. Pakistan must abandon this policy as it is
  counterproductive not only for good bilateral relations but also for Pakistan itself.

 India remains steadfast in its desire to establish mutual trust and confidence and a
  stable structure for cooperation. India is also determined to address all outstanding
  issues in good faith and sincerity. The composite dialogue process, which will begin
  with the forthcoming discussions in Islamabad and New Delhi, will hopefully, open a
  new and positive chapter in bilateral relations. India is committed to do all that it can
  to make this possible. It is hoped and expected that Pakistan will do the same and
  not use the dialogue for narrow propagandist purposes.