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Tharoor slams Pak for raising Kashmir at Asian Parliamentary Assembly meet

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 13, 2019  | 18:11 IST

(Eds: Correcting year in para 2) New Delhi, Oct 13 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday slammed Pakistan at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Belgrade after it cited developments in Jammu and Kashmir for its inability to host the group's plenary, and said the country was attempting to politicise the forum by referring to an internal matter of India. Tharoor, took the floor at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly convened on the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union annual meet, to deplore a letter from the chairman of the Pakistan Senate which blamed developments in Jammu and Kashmir for the country's inability to host the APA plenary scheduled for December 2019, sources said. Tharoor hit out at the chairman of the Pakistan Senate, saying he has referred to an internal matter of India to "unnecessarily politicise the APA assembly". "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. There is nothing in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir that in any way affects the living and working conditions in his country, let alone in Islamabad," the former minister of state for external affairs said. "India's internal matters do not spill over its borders and do not impinge upon our neighbours," Tharoor said. "In the circumstances, it is unfortunate and strange that he expects this august assembly to accept such a far-fetched excuse for his inability or unwillingness to host the APA plenary in December in 2019," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said. Pakistan has tried to raise the Kashmir issue at several multilateral meets, but India has thwarted its efforts. A parliamentary delegation from India had thwarted Pakistan's attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at a UNICEF event in Sri Lanka last month, asserting that it was India's internal matter. India had also scuttled an attempt by Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue during the South Asian Speakers' Summit in the Maldives, saying Islamabad should put an end to all state support to terrorism, which is the "biggest threat" to humanity. The Indian parliamentary delegation led by Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla is in Belgrade to attend the 141st assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) to be held in Serbia from October 13 to October 17. The Indian Parliamentary delegation comprises MPs from across the party lines, including Tharoor, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Wansuk Syiem, Ram Kumar Verma and Sasmit Patra, the secretariat said. PTI ASK ANB CK

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