WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday asserted that there has been no change in its policy on occupied Kashmir issue and the administration supports ‘direct dialogue’ between India and Pakistan.
During a press briefing, when reporters asked if there has been any change in the Trump administration’s policy on Indian-occupied Kashmir, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus replied, “No.”
“And if there was, I certainly wouldn’t be announcing it here, but no, there’s not,” Ortagus said in response to a follow-up question.
“I mean, I think obviously this is something that we watch incredibly closely. It’s something that we’ve called for calm and restraint by all parties. We want to maintain peace and stability, and we, of course, support direct – the direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” the spokesperson added.
Answering a question on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that India was carrying out a genocide in occupied Kashmir, Ortagus said the US urges the rule of law, respect for human rights, and respect for international norms whenever it comes to any part of the world where there are constraints.
“Yeah, I mean, I really don’t want to go beyond what we’ve said because it’s such a tenuous issue. It’s something that we’re talking to them about quite closely. We obviously, whenever it comes to – whenever it comes to any region in the world where there are tensions, we ask for people to observe the rule of law, respect for human rights, respect for international norms. We ask people to maintain peace and security and direct dialogue.
“There are reports, as you’ve mentioned, of detentions and restrictions of residents in Jammu and Kashmir. And again, that’s why we continue to monitor this very, very closely.”
The spokesperson affirmed that the US administration was neither consulted nor informed by India about its decision to revoke Articles 370 and 35A from its constitution.
“There was no heads up given,” she said.
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