The US is watching the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and continues to be “very concerned by reports of detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of the region”, an US State Department spokesperson said on Thursday — days after India emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir remains a bilateral issue. “We urge respect for human rights, compliance with legal ways, and an inclusive dialogue with those affected,” the spokesperson said in response to media queries on reports that the US government was consistently raising human rights issues in Kashmir with India.
In an indirect warning to Pakistan, the spokesperson also underscored the need to “support peace and stability along the Line of Control and to prevent cross-border terrorism”.
“We welcome Prime Minister Modi’s statement that Jammu and Kashmir will soon return to a normal political status… We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” the spokesperson added.
Three days ago, US President Donald Trump had discussed Jammu and Kashmir “at great length” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit at Biarritz in France.
During the discussion, PM Modi had stressed that India and Pakistan were one before 1947 and all issues between the two were bilateral — categorically rejecting any third-party mediation.
“There are many bilateral issues between India and Pakistan, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally,” PM Modi had said.
President Trump said, “The Prime Minister really feels that he has the situation under control… I have very good relationship with both the gentlemen (PM Modi and Imran Khan) and I’m here. I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves”.
On Tuesday, Pakistan wrote to the United Nations, flagging what it called “massive violations of International Human Rights Law” in Jammu and Kashmir. “The letter is not worth the paper it is written on,” the foreign ministry has responded.
Earlier on Thursday, the foreign ministry hit out at Pakistan, saying they should “push trade, not terrorists”. “Pakistan needs to behave like a normal neighbour,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.