India on Thursday asserted that the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh “have been, are, and would” remain its integral part, and in a tough message to China said it expects countries not to comment on India’s internal matters as much as they expect the same of others.
In a strong response to China’s objection to development of infrastructure on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), New Delhi also asserted that Beijing has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters.
The comments by External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava came in response to China’s
contention it does not recognise the Union territory of Ladakh as well as the state of Arunachal Pradesh and that the development of border infrastructure by India was the “root cause” of tensions between the two countries.
“Our position on this has always been clear and consistent. The Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters,” Srivastava said at a media briefing. “We hope that countries will not comment on India’s internal matters, as much as they expect the same of others,” he said.
“Our position on Arunachal Pradesh has also been made clear several times. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. This fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level,” he added.
After Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a number of new bridges in certain border areas on Monday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday said China does not recognise the Ladakh Union territory “illegally set up” by India, as well as Arunachal Pradesh.
Separately, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India and China are engaged in talks to resolve the border stand-off and that what is going on is “something confidential” between the two sides.