New Delhi, Aug 14 : With Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit stoking a fresh controversy by dedicating his country's Independence Day to the "freedom of Kashmir", the Congress on Sunday strongly condemned the statement and demanded an apology from the envoy, adding the '56 inch' government has completely failed in its efforts to ostracise Islamabad.
Speaking to ANI here, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi called for introspection by the Centre on how they have failed to get Pakistan isolated globally, adding Islamabad's 'wish' of claiming Kashmir is destined to go unfulfilled.
"I think normally one would not give importance to such comments, but when it comes from the High Commissioner of a nation it has a full official flavour and colour to it.
Pakistan will of course have to wait for millennia to even consider its wish being fulfilled, which they have expressed as the year of Kashmir 'azadi'," he said.
Stating that India needs to send representatives and ambassadors to each country in the world with concrete evidence of tapes, videos and documents to show Pakistan is the greatest exporter of terrorism, Singhvi said that Islamabad needs to be embarrassed and isolated on a global scale.
"We have to introspect and see how we have failed to get Pakistan isolated globally. We need to embarrass and isolate them and unfortunately I have to say this, that the '56 inch' Government has been completely failing in this global ostracism effort and in the Indo-Pak bilateral effort," Singhvi said.
Demanding an apology from Basit, the Congress spokesperson stated that India should not interact with Pakistan unless the 'official declaration' is withdrawn, adding that his statement was a breach of diplomatic etiquette.
"On the sovereign soil of this country, to declare a part of this country to be searching for 'azadi' is the greatest breach of diplomatic etiquette.
It is also the failure of the Indian government's foreign policy and Indo-Pak policy. It's vital that we repeat and reiterate that our policy remains the same that the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is ours including PoK," Singhvi said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress leader Tom Vadakkan stated that Pakistan should stop day dreaming about Kashmir, asserting that the state is an integral part of India.
The Pakistani envoy earlier in the day said Islamabad has dedicated the 70th Independence Day to the freedom of Kashmir.
Basit said Pakistan has always made efforts to improve its relationship with India. "As far as the relation of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, we dedicate this year's Independence Day to Kashmir's freedom.
We are confident that the sacrifices made by the people of Jammu and Kashmir would be successful," Basit said.
He asserted Pakistan has always given moral support to Jammu and Kashmir's freedom struggle and would continue to do so.
"Struggle for independence will continue till Kashmir gets freedom; sacrifice of the people of Kashmir will not go in vain," he said.
Basit was reiterating Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's statement dedicating the day to the "freedom movement" in Kashmir.
"I dedicate this year's 14th August to the freedom of Kashmir," the Express Tribune quoted Sharif as saying.
Pakistan's provocation comes just days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's assertion that there is no power in the world, which can take Jammu and Kashmir away from India.
"Nawaz Sharif said that he is waiting for Kashmir to be handed over to Pakistan, he even wrote to UN Secretary General regarding this.
I want to assert that no power in the world can wrest Kashmir from us. And if at all they want to have a dialogue with us, then we are ready. But it will be about Pakistan occupied Kashmir, not Kashmir," Rajnath said in his address in the Rajya Sabha.
In a major ceasefire violation, the Pakistan Army on Sunday resorted to unprovoked firing on the Indian posts along the Line of Control in Shahpu Kandi area of the border Poonch district.
The firing began at around 3 a.m. However, there have been no reports of any injuries or casualties so far..