Pakistan encouraging unrest in J and K : Anand Sharma

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (UNI) India today accused Pakistan of encouraging the present unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that there was no room for ''brazen assault'' on national unity and integrity.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, said elements within the valley have received succour and support from Pakistan. ''That is a cause of concern,'' he told CNN-IBN.

He, however, declined to elaborate when asked whether it was the Pakistan government or members of the Pakistan establishment that were meddling in Kashmir .

''India is a country known for its tolerance, restraint and democratic credentials. When it comes to India's unity and integrity, it is inviolable,'' he said and added that discussions (on Kashmir) could be held in a democratic spirit.

Reaffirming that national borders could not be altered, Mr Sharma said the Centre was open to holding talks with the Hurriyat within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

''There can be no discussions outside the framework of the Constitution'', he declared.

Asking separatists to contest elections if they wanted to be regarded as a credible and legitimate voice of the Kashmiri people, he said it was not only (about) talking to one organisation.

''We have had elected governments in Jammu and Kashmir. We are a constitutional democracy and all those who claim to speak for the people in any part of the country, have an option to come into the electoral mainstream.'' Asked to comment on the burning of Indian flags, chanting of anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans in the valley, the Minister said, ''We are aware there are separtists and militants who have an agenda of their own and I am sure this will also pass.'' ''Of course there's no room for this kind of a brazen assault on the nation and on India's integrity,'' he said.

Dismissing the charge that the Congress had mismanaged the ongoing crisis, both in the state and at the Centre, Mr Sharma accused the BJP and the RSS of stoking communal tensions in the Valley.

''An effort is there which is a diabolic one to create communal polarisation and these efforts have been assisted by a national party, the BJP and the RSS led front. It was expected of all the political parties to come together to defuse the situation and not look at a short-term electoral agenda at the cost of the country,'' the Minister said.


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