The spokesperson for the US State Department John Kirby said,” The government – US Government respects the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan and we do not support independence for Balochistan,” in a recent press briefing on September 12 in Washington, DC.
Indian prime minister on his Independence Day speech on August 15 had commented about ‘goodwill’ for India in Balochistan and Gilgit Balochistan without backing a rather burning issue of Kashmir.
Modi had aggressively said, “People of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) have thanked me a lot in past few days, I am grateful to them.”
His statement followed a huge backlash from both the Pakistani government and people of Balochistan for deliberately mentioning Balochistan in his speech.
The journalist at the Washington briefing, however, was not satisfied with Kirby’s answer apparently and further asked, “And there are people and persons, groups, here who are working towards it. Do you support – do you tolerate them from the US soil?”
“As I said, the government policy is that we support the territorial integrity of Pakistan and we do not support independence for Balochistan,” Kirby repeated while denouncing to support Modi’s position.
Relations between Pakistan and India have been fragile since the killing of a separatist leader in Indian-held Kashmir on July 8 sparked the worst violence in the disputed territory in six years.
India blames Pakistan for inciting violence in Kashmir. Pakistan denies this.
India was also planning to take Balochistan matter to the United Nations amid frustrations over Pakistan’s attempts to draw wide international attention to the Kashmir question and the current crack down.
“Dealing with militancy is our internal issue and we will not tolerate any other country’s interference,” said one of the officials, from Modi’s nationalist ruling party.