'Respect Our Sovereignty And Territorial Integrity': India On US Envoy To Pakistan's Visit To PoK

Swarajya Staff

Oct 06, 2023, 08:55 AM | Updated 08:55 AM IST

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi (Representative Image).
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi (Representative Image).

India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday expressed its concerns to the US regarding the recent visit of American envoy to Islamabad Donald Blome to Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The MEA also called on the international community to respect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

During a press briefing, Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of the MEA, emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Bagchi also rejected the comparison made by US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti between Blome's visit to Gilgit-Baltistan and an American delegation's visit to Srinagar for G-20 meetings.

"Our position on the entire Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India is well known. We would urge the international community to respect our sovereignty and territorial integrity," Bagchi said when asked about Blome's visit to PoK.

"We have raised our concerns about that visit by the US ambassador to Pakistan with the U.S. side," he said.

Last month, Blome traveled to Gilgit-Baltistan.

In response to Garcetti's remarks on the matter, Bagchi said, "We do not think the two situations are equivalent".

In October of last year too, India had expressed its concerns to the US after Blome visited Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

When questioned about Blome's visit, Garcetti had said "It's not my place to react to the United States ambassador in Pakistan but I know he's been before, and we've had obviously part of our delegation in Jammu and Kashmir during the G-20 as well".

Garcetti emphasised that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved by India and Pakistan.

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