From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, has said there is no need for a third party involvement as far as the issue of Jammu and Kashmir are concerned.

Thakur stated this on the occasion of the second anniversary of the constitutional amendment passed by the parliament of the Republic of India for the improved administration of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions of India and to further enhance their socioeconomic development.

Recall that the provinces have been a subject of dispute between India, Pakistan and China since the mid-20th century.

The constitutional amendment of August 5, 1999, Article 370 of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladak, however unified the erstwhile provinces with the rest of India.

Speaking during the event held in Abuja, Thakur said the key lines for all friends and partners and well wishers across the world was that there was already a truce between India and Pakistan regarding Jammu, Kashmir and Ladak.

“The key lines for all friends and partners and all well wishers across the world is that India and Pakistan have already agreed under the 1972 agreement to solve all issues bilaterally and directly.

“The arrangement is very placed and there is really no rule for a third party involvement or even involving any kind of third party comment or concern about this,” Thakur said.

Thakur further said there was absolutely no reason for any misperception or misunderstanding on the issue.

“And as regards border issues, they are where they are and there are mechanisms to address them, whether it is with Pakistan or China, and they will be addressed.

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“So, I think a gentle appreciation on India’s position and also our multi lingua and multi-religious nature should always be kept in mind.

“And that disputes, if any, are nothing to do with cultural or any other kind of conflict. It is purely to an extent on legal interpretation and India is convinced that the entire Jammu and Kashmir is a legal part of India.

“We have had the legal instrument of accession and for the moment, the statuesque is what it is, and there is no reason for anyone to believe that this would be escalated or worsen in any manner.

“And we will continue to remain steady and pursue the growth and development of all provinces of India, including Jammu and Kashmir,” Thakur also said.

Earlier during his remarks, Thakur said India will continue to ensure the development of Jammu and Kashmir, with its people enjoying the benefits due to all Indians.

The Indian envoy also said the constitutional amendment passed has allowed for improved administration of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions and to further enhance their socio-economic development.

“All 890 Central laws are now applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, 205 State laws repelled, all unjust and discriminatory laws have been removed, national flag unfurled on all government buildings.

“The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the Maintainace and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Acts 2007, Family Courts Act, 1984 are now applicable.

“Those discriminated against have been empowered with 35,000 beneficiaries from border areas, 5,764 West Pakistani Refugees, 44,000 Kasmiri migrants families being catered for.

“Under the Prime Minister’s Package, there have been development projects on hydropower for all, water to every home, a road to every village, and improved business environment, building a world class health infrastructure, relief package during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,  youth employment and entrepreneurship, amongst others,” Thakur stated.