India calls actions in Kashmir internal matter: US

Published August 6, 2019
"We take note of India’s announcement revising the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and India’s plan to split the state into two union territories,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. — Screengrab courtesy US State Department video
"We take note of India’s announcement revising the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and India’s plan to split the state into two union territories,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. — Screengrab courtesy US State Department video

WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday urged India to engage in discussion with those affected by its decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status but also noted that New Delhi describes this action as an “internal matter”.

“We are closely following the events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We take note of India’s announcement revising the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and India’s plan to split the state into two union territories,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

The statement issued in Washington, however, also referred to India’s position on this issue, without mentioning the Pakistani position. “We note that the Indian government has described these actions as strictly an internal matter,” Ms Ortagus said.

Washington calls for peace and stability along LoC

The US official, however, did express concern on the situation in the occupied Valley. “We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities,” she said.

Ms Ortagus also underlined the need for maintaining peace and stability along the Line of Control.

“We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control,” she said.

The statement also failed to mention US President Donald Trump’s recent offers to mediate between India and Pakistan to help resolve the Kashmir dispute.

In a July 22 statement, President Trump said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir dispute. Although India denied ever asking him to do so, Mr Trump reiterated his stance earlier this week, saying that he’s willing to help if both countries ask him to.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2019

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