Modi gives Erdogan a cold response over Kashmir

Modi gives Erdogan a cold response over Kashmir

India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said Monday his government was ready to hold bilateral discussions on Jammu and Kashmir, terming the violence-hit valley "an integral part of India".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Indian capital of New Delhi, reported Hindustan Times, a meeting aimed at boosting economic ties between the India and Turkey.

Baglay said Modi in his meeting with the Turkish strongman "made it clear the whole of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India".

"This position that the issue of Kashmir is essentially an issue of terrorism, we presented it very clearly," the newspaper quoted the spokesperson as saying.

“As far as the issue is concerned, we are ready to address any issue between India and Pakistan bilaterally through peaceful means as has been stipulated in the Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration.”

Peace talks between the two countries have been on hold for years and diplomatic engagement is at a minimum.

India accuses Pakistan of backing Islamist militants and encouraging them to attack Indian forces in Indian-held Kashmir and, occasionally, in other parts of India.

Pakistan denies that and says India must hold negotiations on the future of Kashmir.