NEW DELHI-- In provocative remarks, Pakistan today said it is dedicating its Independence Day to Kashmir's "freedom" and will continue to extend full diplomatic, political and moral support to the people of the state.
The comments by Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit came during the country's Independence Day celebrations at its embassy here.
India had yesterday virtually turned down Pakistan's offer for a dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir seeking an end to Pak-supported cross-border terrorism.
Basit's comments came on a day when Pakistani forces violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
"As far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, we are dedicating this year's Independence Day to the freedom of Kashmir. And we firmly believe that the sacrifices made by the people of Jammu and Kashmir will not go in vain.
"The ongoing unrest should be ended. Pakistan will continue to extend its full diplomatic, political and moral support to the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir till they get their right to self determination," Basit said.
Basit said that no matter "how much" force is used, the political aspiration of people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be suppressed, and that the "freedom movement" will reach its logical conclusion.
In his address, Basit said Pakistan has always strived for better ties with India on the basis of sovereign equality and peaceful resolution of bilateral disputes.
However, he said no one can "belittle" or wish away the "legitimate struggle" of the Kashmiri people and it was incumbent upon the international community to ensure implementation of the relevant UN resolutions to settle the dispute.
"Today our nation faces several challenges, but no power can cause any damage to Pakistan. People who want to trouble Pakistan, they should know that our people, be it Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, we are together and will not hesitate to make any sacrifice for Pakistan's well-being," he said.
India had yesterday made it clear that it would talk on "contemporary and relevant" issues in Indo-Pak relations and at this time it included stoppage of Pak-supported cross-border terrorism.
"India would welcome a dialogue on contemporary and relevant issues in India-Pakistan relations. At this time they include a stoppage of Pakistani support for cross-border terrorism, infiltration of terrorists like Bahadur Ali.
"Incitement to violence and terrorism across the border, parading of internationally recognised terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, and sincere follow up on the Mumbai attack trial and the Pathankot attack investigation in Pakistan," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said.