Will boycott Islamabad Commonwealth meet if Kashmir speaker left out: India

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) India will boycott the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s conference being held in Islamabad if the Jammu and Kashmir speaker is not invited, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Friday.

Pakistan has not extended an invitation to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly speaker for the September 30-October 8 conference on the ground that the state is disputed territory, while inviting speakers of the other state assemblies as well as Mahajan for the nine-day conference.

Mahajan, addressing media persons, said that all the state assemblies have backed the decision to boycott the Islamabad conference on the issue.

“We have taken the decision that if Jammu and Kashmir speaker is not invited, then India will not participate. Either change the venue or India will not attend,” she said.

Jammu and Kashmir Speaker Kavinder Gupta expressed his thanks to the state assemblies for deciding to boycott the Islamabad conference. “I want to thank them for the decision, Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Australia and Canada have supported our move,” he said.

Gupta also said that “Pakistan should be declared a terrorist country”.

“The boycott is a big message to the world community,” he added.

Gupta had earlier told “Greater Kashmir” daily: “Pakistan has refused to my participation in the conference saying the speaker of J&K Legislative Assembly can’t be part of the conference (in Pakistan) as per UN resolutions.”

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