India takes offence at Pakistan’s call for ending Kashmir blockade

By: News Desk      Published: 07:00 PM, 19 Mar, 2020
India takes offence at Pakistan’s call for ending Kashmir blockade

India on Thursday criticized Pakistan for raising Kashmir blockade issue during a SAARC video-conference earlier this week.

During the video-conference on Sunday, Pakistan's top health official, Dr Zafar Mirza, called for an immediate lifting of the lockdown in Kashmir in Occupied Kashmir to allow virus containment measures.

Speaking shortly after Pakistan once again urged India to end the months-long blockade in Kashmir, India alleged Islamabad of “misusing” the Saarc video conference, which it said, was not a political platform.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for the video-conference to formulate a joint strategy to combat the coronavirus in the spirit that a crisis of this magnitude did not recognise borders.

The spokesperson failed to appreciate that the Pakistan official had confined his call to the humanitarian aspect of the Kashmir problem.

"Equity in health is a fundamental principle of public health. In this regard, let me say that it is a matter of concern that COVID-19 has been reported" from Jammu and Kashmir and in view of the health emergency, it is imperative that all "lockdown" there must be lifted immediately, Dr Mirza had said.

"Opening up communication and movement would facilitate dissemination of information, allow distribution of medical supplies and allow containment...to proceed unimpeded," the special assistant to prime minister on health said.