US refutes Indian claim on Kashmir issue

Online Agencies
The US on Wednesday strongly refuted news reports that India had informed it before revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Multiple media reports from the US and India said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the Indian decision on Jammu and Kashmir when they met in Bangkok last week.
“Contrary to press reporting, the Indian government did not consult or inform the US Government before moving to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status,” Acting Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells tweeted.
India on Monday revoked Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories—Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
India has maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and the issue is strictly internal to the country. Meanwhile, the US is closely following India’s legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir, a State Department official said on Wednesday, hours after Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties.
On Wednesday, the US had also said there was an “urgent need” for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia. The State Department spokesperson said that “the US calls for calm and restraint by all parties”.
Early this year, tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured Indian pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.
Bloodshed is all but certain
The US newspaper, The New York Times concluded over India’s unilateral move that ”The Indian government’s decision to revoke the semi-autonomous status of Kashmir, accompanied by a huge security clampdown, is dangerous and wrong. Bloodshed is all but certain, and tension with Pakistan will soar, is what the.
The newspaper’s editorial board in its opinion piece titled ‘India Tempts Fate in Kashmir, ‘The Most Dangerous Place in the World’ while referring to the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A, writes: “The Indian government knows how incendiary its actions are, which is why, before making the announcement on Monday, it ordered tens of thousands more troops into Kashmir, put major political figures under house arrest, ordered tourists to leave, closed schools and cut off internet services.”
The editorial board exposing the Indian government lies behind the military buildup says, “The government claimed it was acting to prevent a planned terrorist attack. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party, deeply rooted in Hindu nationalist ideology, have long made no secret of their intention to revoke the articles in the Indian Constitution granting the predominantly Muslim Kashmir a special status – a move the BJP sees as “correcting a historical blunder”.
“That ‘blunder’ began with Britain’s 1947 partition of its Indian colony into a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. The status of what was then the principality of Jammu and Kashmir was left undecided.”
While mentioning the intervention by the world body, the newspaper writes, “The United Nations recommended holding a referendum to let Kashmiris decide their fate, but that never happened.” In this volatile stew, India’s latest action provoked instant vows of resistance. The Kashmiris are especially incensed by the lifting of a ban they had long imposed on the purchase of land by non-residents, to prevent their land from being bought up by Indians, the newspaper wrote. It quoted Mehbooba Mufti as having said, “There will be chaos if our identity is compromised.”
A US-based media watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists, in a statement expressed alarm over communication blackout in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
British MPs want international observers
Meanwhile, British Member of Parliament and head of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir, Debbie Abrahams, in a letter to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, expressed concern over the abrogation of Article 370, increased tension in South Asia and use of cluster bombs on unarmed civilians in Kashmir by India. He said if this proves true, this would be a violation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and international humanitarian law.
While stressing the need for sending international observers to assess the situation in occupied Kashmir, he also asked the UN chief to consider the United Nations’ role in this regard.
Other Members of British Parliament, Andrew James Griffiths, Paula Sherriff and Muhammad Yasin in their letters to their Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab asked him to prevail upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop human rights violations in Kashmir and seek a solution to the Kashmir issue through talks.
Canada’s NDP concerned over IOK situation
Canada’s third largest federal political party, NDP has expressed serious concern over the prevailing grim situation in occupied Kashmir.
The NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Guy Caron, in a statement said, New Democrats are deeply concerned by reports of the Indian government’s crackdown in recent days in Kashmir. He said, the government of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi recently took steps to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which granted Kashmir considerable autonomy and moved to arrest top Kashmiri political leaders, deploy thousands of troops, impose a shutdown of telephone and internet services and restrict peaceful assembly.
“Like Amnesty International and other civil society groups, we are troubled by such actions, which provide fertile ground for more human rights abuses in a region where the people of Kashmir regularly suffer abuses such as excessive force, arbitrary detention and the lack of due process, and communications blackouts,” he said.
Guy Caron said that Canada’s Liberal Party government must find the courage to firmly communicate these human rights concerns to the Indian authorities. “We must always have a foreign policy that is based on human rights and international law, not one that pays lip service to a “rules-based international order” without actually standing up for those rules,” he ad

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