New Delhi: The Congress and the BJP Thursday strongly objected to Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif's claim that Kashmir was Islamabad's "jugular vein", with the Congress reasserting that the territory was an integral part of India while the BJP dismissed the comments as "hawkish" and "uncalled for".

Raheel Shariff
Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif attends a funtion in Pakistan. Pic: AFP

"We reject this statement. I don't think any democracy in the world doubts that Kashmir is and will be India's integral part," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told media persons here.

He said people's participation in the Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir was a testimony to the fact the state belongs to India, and that such statements need not be dignified with a response.

The BJP condemned the statement, saying this would impede the peace process between the two neighbouring countries.

"It is important the Pakistan authorities remember that peace in this region cannot be affected by their hawkish and uncalled for statements," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She also demanded a clarification from Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Raheel Sharif had Wednesday said Kashmir was an international dispute regarding which United Nations resolutions existed. He said the resolutions were crucial for peace and stability in the region.