India Conveys Concerns to U.S. Over American Envoy to Pakistan’s Visit to Gilgit-Baltistan

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External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

India on Thursday said it raised its concerns with the U.S. over American envoy to Islamabad Donald Blome’s recent visit to Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and called on the world community to respect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi asserted that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

He also rejected U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti drawing a parallel to Mr. Blome’s travel to Gilgit-Baltistan to an American delegation’s visit to Srinagar to attend meetings relating to G-20.

“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,” Mr. Bagchi said when asked about Mr. Blome’s visit.

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

Mr. Blome visited Gilgit-Baltistan last month.

Asked about Mr. Garcetti’s comments on the matter, Mr. Bagchi said: “We do not think the two situations are equivalent.” In October last year too, India raised its concerns with the U.S. after Mr. Blome visited Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

When asked about Mr. Blome’s visit, Mr. Garcetti said two weeks ago: “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.” He also said that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved by India and Pakistan.

Source: The Hindu