BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has termed the comments on Kashmir by the Pakistani Army chief as "highly provocative" and wished the outgoing UPA government took a "stronger stand on this uninvited interference".
He said the reported statement was tantamount to "interference in the internal affairs of our country".
Asked to respond to Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif's claim that Kashmir was a "jugular vein" for Islamabad, Modi told IANS in an e-mailed response: "I see these comments as highly provocative and I think they amount to interference in the internal affairs of our country. I wish the government of India takes a stronger stand on this uninvited interference."
Modi also dismissed the perceived worries of some countries in the region of his rise to power. "I can only say that all such perceptions are either misguided or arising out of malafide intent on the part of certain vested interest groups inimical to the progress of India. Apparently there are several people who cannot reconcile themselves to the emergence of a strong and resilient India," he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its Lok Sabha election manifesto, has promised to "reboot and reorient the foreign policy goals, content and process, in a manner that locates India's global strategic engagement in a new paradigm and on a wider canvas".