WASHINGTON: The United States has assured the international community that it is closely monitoring the Jammu and Kashmir situation. Also it will continue to support direct talks between India and Pakistan on the issue.
The Kashmir issue is routine part of the US State Department’s daily briefings since the Biden government came to power. Therefore, Journalists including the American media, appear excited to see how the new government will handle the centuries-old dispute between the two nuclear powers in South Asia, India and Pakistan.
At a press conference, a journalist reminded Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price that India and Pakistan renewed their pledge to keep Peace on the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir late last month. Since then, the two have avoided violating the ceasefire agreement they signed in 2003, but the peace has remained weak.
“What will US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken do to ensure that the ceasefire is respected?” Asked the reporter.
“It is true that we are following the Jammu and Kashmir situation. Our policies towards the region have not changed,” Price said.
“We call on all parties to defuse tensions along the line of control by returning to the 2003 ceasefire commitments. Further, we condemn terrorists who try to break through the lines of control.”
Mr. Price also explained how Washington will ensure that both sides uphold the ceasefire agreement. “We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other problem areas.”
Is US engage Kashmiri Leaders in talks or not?
The journalist pointed out that the focus of face-to-face talks between India and Pakistan has negatively affected Kashmiri leaders. These leaders are speechless. “Will the US do something to engage not only the governments of India and Pakistan but also the Kashmiri leaders?” asked the reporter.
“I don’t have anything for you on this subject. If we can add others, we will”, he said.
At a similar briefing, Price used the term “union territory” to refer to Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, but stressed that Kashmir policy in Washington remains unchanged.
The United States has consistently recognized Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Also urged the two to resolve the issue through bilateral talks. But last month, when the resumption of high-speed internet in the occupied valley was welcomed, a State Department statement called the disputed area “Jammu and Indian Kashmir”.
Islamabad immediately responded to the omission, reminding Washington that the tweet was “inconsistent” with the region’s controversial status.
Also a report by the government-funded think tank Freedom House regretted India’s ouster from the ranks of free countries after the country’s status was downgraded to “partially free”.
“Under Modi, India appears to have given up its potential as a leader of global democracy and, at the expense of its core values of inclusion and equality for all, to arouse nationalist interests close to Hindus,” warned the 2021 World Report. .
Looking at the global situation in 2021, the report regretted “India’s overthrow from the top position of free countries”, which “could have a very detrimental effect on global democratic standards”.