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New Delhi: India on Wednesday rejected Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s “uncalled” reference to Jammu and Kashmir during his speech at the opening ceremony of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), even as reports suggest that he could visit New Delhi on Friday.
According to news reports published in Pakistan, Wang said Beijing “heard the call of many Islamic friends” over the Kashmir issue, adding that it “share the same aspiration.” Speaking at the event, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said, “We [OIC] have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all.”
Responding to these statements, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We reject the uncalled reference to India by the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his speech at the Opening Ceremony.”
He added that matters related to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir are entirely the internal affairs of India. “Other countries including China have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from public judgement of their internal issues,” the statement said.
Wang may visit India
Reuters quoted an Indian official as saying that Wang would visit New Delhi on Friday, though neither side has formally announced what would be the highest-level visit since the deadly clash in 2020 in Eastern Ladakh.
Wang was expected to meet his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
After 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed during a high-altitude clash in a disputed section of the western Himalayas in June 2020, India has restricted many Chinese firms from operating in the country.
Wang said at an annual news briefing in Beijing this month that Asia’s two largest nations should help each other accomplish goals, instead of “draining each others’ energies”.
Without naming anyone, he said that “some forces” had tried to create conflict and division between the two countries.
(With Reuters inputs)