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India rejects Pak's Kashmir self-governance proposal

Source: PTI
November 21, 2005 23:30 IST
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Pakistan Monday said it had proposed to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the granting of "self governance" to Kashmir on both sides of Line of Control, but India virtually dismissed the idea saying while people in Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed autonomy and popular rights while residents of the state's part under Pakistani occupation lacked these.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Natvej Singh Sarna said, "No proposal of the so-called self-governance was provided to which a response was expected" from India. Sarna was reacting to the remarks by the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson.

During the meeting, Sarna said, Aziz had "conveyed that in seeking a resolution to the Jammu and Kashmir issue, the two countries could inter alia explore ideas such as self-governance and demilitarisation."

He said it was mentioned in "passing".

Sarna said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had conveyed to Aziz that Jammu and Kashmir "already enjoyed autonomy under the Indian Constitution and has in place a popular government elected through free and fair elections".

On the other hand, there was "clearly a lack of autonomy in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman quoted Dr Singh as having told Aziz.

"And there has been no popular elections at all in Gilgit and Baltistan to determine the wishes and aspirations of the people there," he said.

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