The US on Wednesday said there was an “urgent need” for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia. It had also strongly refuted news reports that India had informed the US before revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The State Department spokesperson said that “the US calls for calm and restraint by all parties”.
Expressing concern over the detention of people in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson said, “We continue to be concerned by reports of detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“We urge respect for individual rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive dialogue with those affected.“
The developments came after the Indian Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories ― Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The US, the spokesperson said, calls on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control, including “taking firm and resolute steps” to combat cross-border terrorism.
“We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” the spokesperson said.
Hours after Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties, a State Department official said the US was closely following India’s legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The US is closely following India’s legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir. We note the broader implications of these developments, including the potential for increased instability in the region,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI.
The spokesperson was responding to a question on the situation in the region after Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgraded the diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi’s “unilateral and illegal” move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had expressed concern to his Indian counterpart about the situation in the disputed Kashmir region.
“I have spoken to the Indian Foreign Minister,” Raab said on Wednesday. “We’ve expressed some of our concerns around the situation and called for calm, but also had a clear readout of the situation from the perspective of the Indian government.”
(With PTI and Reuters inputs)