India's foreign minister said on Tuesday that the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan belongs to India and that he expected New Delhi to gain physical control over it one day, raising the rhetoric over the territorial dispute.
India rules the heavily populated Kashmir Valley while Pakistan controls a wedge of territory in the west of the disputed region that New Delhi describes as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
"Our position on PoK is, has always been and will always be very clear. PoK is part of India and we expect one day that we will have the jurisdiction, physical jurisdiction over it," Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a news conference.
Last month, New Delhi abrogated the special status of its part of Muslim-majority Kashmir in a bid to integrate the territory fully into India, a move that has prompted protests and anger in Kashmir and Pakistan.
Asked about the Indian foreign minister's comments, Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry, said his government's position on Kashmir had not changed. Pakistan has previously said that Kashmir is a disputed territory that should be resolved by the United Nations.
The two countries, both nuclear-armed, have twice gone to war over Kashmir. Pakistan has condemned India's decision to change Kashmir's status and said India's crackdown on protests and dissent there would drive more of the world's Muslims into extremism.
But Jaishankar said revoking Kashmir's special rights was an internal Indian matter and that the only issue on the table was an end to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.