New Delhi: A major war of words broke out between India and Pakistan on Sunday, after the latter tried to raise the Article 370 issue during the ongoing 4th South Asian Speakers’ Summit in the Maldives.

The verbal clash took place between Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh and Pakistan’s Deputy Speaker of National Assembly, Qasim Suri and Senator Quratulain Marri. It all began when Suri raised the Kashmir issue on the forum, saying, “We cannot ignore the situation of Kashmiris who are facing oppression and injustice.”

Reacting to this, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman said, “We strongly object raising of an internal matter of India in the forum. There’s a need for Pak to end cross-border terrorism for regional peace.”

He further said, “We also reject the politicisation of the forum by raising issues which are extraneous to the theme of the summit.” The verbal duel continued with Senator Marri joining in, as Maldivian Speaker Mohamed Nasheed tried to control the situation in vain.

As the sparring continued, he was forced to call for lunch.

The Maldivian Parliament, called Majlis, is hosting the 4th South Asian Speakers Summit on achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Representing India on the forum, besides, Harivansh Narayan Singh, is Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Pakistan, on the other hand, is being represented by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri and Senator Quratulain Marri.