J&K Integral Part of India, Our Overtures Should Not be Seen as Sign of Weakness by Pak: Lok Sabha Speaker

Om Birla’s sharp remarks came after Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue at the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.

Birla said the international community should isolate Pakistan, a country whose former prime minister had glorified the dreaded terrorist Osama Bin Laden as a “martyr” from its Parliament.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: August 20, 2020, 11:57 PM IST

Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday told Pakistan that New Delhi’s overtures should not be seen as a “sign of weakness”.

Criticising Islamabad, Birla said the international community should isolate Pakistan, a country whose former prime minister had glorified the dreaded terrorist Osama Bin Laden as a “martyr” from its Parliament.

Birla’s sharp remarks came after Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue at the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament being held virtually, according to sources.

Exercising India”s right to reply, Birla said in a written statement, “Pakistan’s PM had admitted to (having) nearly 40,000 militants on its soil. Pakistan’s aggressions against Jammu and Kashmir in 1965, 1971, 1999 (Kargil) and attacks on Mumbai, Parliament, Uri, Pulwama prove the neighbouring country’s state-sponsored policy of terrorism.”

Pakistan”s policy of supporting terrorism was also evident from its inaction against terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, the Speaker said.

Underlining that Jammu and Kashmir “has been and will remain an integral part of India,” Birla said, “We call upon Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism. Our overtures should not be taken as sign for weakness.”

Birla was leading the Indian parliamentary delegation to the two-day conference.

Participating in the concluding session of the conference on Thursday, Birla laid emphasis on ensuring public participation in parliamentary oversight and improving governance.

Talking about Indian parliament, Birla said it is fully engaged with the people and always reinforces transparency and good governance.

He also mentioned that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian parliament maintained regular connect between the parliamentarians and the general public to ensure that the needy and the underprivileged are provided necessary relief and assistance without delay.

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