NEW DELHI – Indian Lok Sabha Friday rejected Pakistan National Assembly’s resolution on execution of Afzal Guru, terming it as ‘interference’ in India’s internal affairs and asked it to desist from such acts of ‘support’ for extremist elements.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha passed a resolution claiming that the entire state including Indian-occupied and Azad Kashmir were ‘integral parts’ of India. Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday had condemned the execution last month of Mohammed Afzal Guru, who was convicted in a deadly 2001 attack on India’s Parliament.
Guru was secretly hanged and buried in New Delhi‘s high-security prison last month. His execution triggered violence in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, with his family asking the Indian government to hand over his body for burial in his hometown. A proposed home-and-away field hockey series between the nations’ teams also was called off Friday on the advice of India’s foreign ministry.
”I hope they (Pakistan) will get the message,” said Salman Khurshid, India’s foreign minister. Tensions also rose this week when India accused Pakistan of involvement in an attack Wednesday in the Indian-held Kashmir that killed five paramilitary soldiers.
Pakistan denied the attackers came from its territory. Kashmir has long been a flash point between the two nations. On Thursday, Pakistan’s lower house of Parliament lent support through a unanimously adopted resolution urging India to hand over Guru’s body to his family.
”This house expresses deep concern over the situation arising in the Occupied Kashmir after the hanging of Afzal Guru,” the resolution said.
The resolution also called for a withdrawal of Indian troops, an end to killings and a repeal of black laws in Held Kashmir. It said Kashmiris were struggling to get the right of self-determination.
”Pakistan fully supports this justified right of Kashmiris,” it said. The resolution triggered a strong reaction in India, with both houses of Parliament passing a resolution insisting Pakistan not ‘meddle’ in India’s internal affairs and reminding Islamabad of its 2004 commitment not to allow its territory to be used for terrorism against India.
”Any attempt from any quarter to interfere in the internal affairs of India will be met resolutely and with complete unity of our nation,” the Indian resolution said. The rivals tried to repair their ties in recent years by pushing trade, economic and sporting links and making travel to the two countries easier for their people.
However, the killing of two Indian and three Pakistani soldiers in January in clashes across the cease-fire line dividing Kashmir between them again ratcheted up tensions.