Foreign Office reiterates calls for Washington to urge India to halt human rights abuses in disputed territory
Pakistan on Thursday said it was “disappointed” over a Twitter post by the United States State Department in which it had referred to “India’s Jammu and Kashmir,” stressing that this was “inconsistent” with the region’s disputed status.
Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs welcomed the resumption of 4G services in India-held Kashmir by referring to the region as “India’s Jammu & Kashmir.” The statement drew condemnation, as it suggested Washington had altered its stance on the internationally-recognized disputed status of the territory.
“We are disappointed to note the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the U.S. Department of State’s tweet regarding the resumption of 4G mobile internet in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” read a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. “The reference is inconsistent with the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir as recognized by numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions and the international community,” he added.
Stressing that Jammu and Kashmir was one of the oldest items on the UNSC’s agenda, Chaudhri said it remained unresolved “because of India’s intransigence and unwillingness to implement the relevant UNSC resolutions and its own solemn commitments made to Pakistan, the Kashmiris and the international community.”
The spokesperson said the political and economic progress of the people of Jammu and Kashmir was inextricably linked to fulfilling their desire of the right to self-determination. He reiterated Islamabad’s call for the international community, including the U.S., to urge India to stop its consistent and systematic human rights violations in India-held Kashmir.
“Arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, incarceration of political leaders, ongoing efforts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris in fake ‘encounters,’ and staged cordon-and-search operations” are some examples of the abuses perpetrated by India, he claimed, and called for genuine steps to be undertaken to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.
To queries from media, the U.S. State Department has clarified that there has been no change to Washington’s Kashmir policy, adding that it still considers the matter a territory dispute between Pakistan and India.