New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is a part of the Indian delegation at the ongoing Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) Meeting in the Serbian capital Belgrade, on Sunday hit out at Pakistan for raising the issue of Kashmir at the forum.

Pakistan cited the developments in Kashmir, which lost its special status on August 5, to express its inability to host the APA plenary scheduled for December 2019.

Lashing out as Islamabad, the senior Congress leader, who took the floor at APA meet to deplore the letter, written by the Chairman of the Pakistani Senate, said that the country had referred to an internal matter of India, thereby unnecessarily politicising the APA assembly.

Tharoor, the former Minister of State for External Affairs, said, “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. The situation there, does not in any way, affect the living and working conditions in the Senate Chairman’s country.” Tharoor added, “Therefore, it is unfortunate and strange that he expects this august Assembly to accept his bizarre excuse for inability or unwillingness to host the APA plenary session in December 2019.”

This is not the first time that Pakistan has tried to raise the Kashmir issue at an international forum. Indian delegations at separate conferences in the Maldives and Sri Lanka, respectively, had thwarted Pakistan’s attempt to raise the issue at the two events.

The Indian delegation, led by Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, is in Belgrade to attend the 141st assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) to be held there from October 13-17.

The government, in an unprecedented move on August 5, revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, thus abolishing the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Besides losing its special status, the region was also split into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a move which will come into effect from October 31.