NEW DELHI – India says that Kashmir issue can be resolved only bilaterally and Pakistan can’t legally take it to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“The Kashmir issue can never be taken to ICJ because both the countries are bound by the Shimla Agreement and Lahore Declaration to solve it bilaterally,” External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told reporters on Monday.
India has dragged Pakistan to the ICJ for giving a death sentence to former Indian Navy officer and spy-terrorist, Kulbhushan Jadhav.
“We will solve our issues bilaterally,” Sushma said, but asserted that talks and terror cannot go together. She also denied any flip-flop in India’s policy on Pakistan.
She said her government has never taken “one step forward and two steps backwards” in its Pakistan policy but has rather taken some “out-of-the-box initiatives”, only to be rebuffed by Pakistan with attacks such as Pathankot or declaration of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani as a martyr.
Swaraj said India had taken several steps to revive talks with Pakistan. But, talks have to be held without any third party intervention and without the threat of terror, she insisted.
Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), she said India is not opposed to any connectivity projects. However, India is opposed to the principles of connectivity in this case, she said.
On the issue of Chinese choppers over Chamoli district, Sushma said India will raise airspace violation issue with Beijing.
She said relationship between India and the US was progressing under Donald Trump as it did during Obama’s presidency.
Sushma Swaraj said India wants countries which back its bid for NSG membership to talk to China for Beijing’s support. China has been opposing India’s bid for NSG membership.
Justifying India’s opposition to the China-led One Belt One Road, Sushma Swaraj said the project could not be supported as it involves India’s sovereignty.
Reiterating the country’s commitment to the Paris climate deal, the external affairs minister said that India did not sign the agreement under duress or for monetary benefits.