Indian Defence Minister Krishna Menon yesterday threatened that the ceasefire agreement in Kashmir would exist no longer if Pakistan bartered away “India’s legal rights over Azad Kashmir” to China.
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Mr Menon, who was addressing a public meeting at Sapru House, said India has “never abjured the use of force” though it has promised not to take the initiative to change the present position in Kashmir by force in spite of her “legal and moral right over the territory”.
Let there be no illusion, he added, that the Indian Army would strike where and when necessary if Pakistan commits aggression against Kashmir. Mr Menon alleged that the Security Council was committing a violation of the United Nations Charter inasmuch as the Kashmir issue was concerned, and added that India would not accept any resolution of the Security Council if it tried to question India’s sovereignty over Kashmir.
He also criticised the United States, Britain and Ghana which, he said, had supported Pakistan in calling a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the Kashmir problem. Mr Menon bluntly changed earlier Indian offers for negotiations with Pakistan, and said India would negotiate only when it was recognised that accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was final and irrevocable and that Pakistan was not on equal status with India as it was an “aggressor”.
Mr Menon went a step further and said India would never accept the division of Kashmir which included not only Kashmir, but also Hunza and Gilgit. The ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, who was the rightful authority in 1947, had acceded to India, he claimed.
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