USA reiterates Kashmir a dispute between India, Pakistan, dismisses third party intervention

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The USA’s stand seemed to be dismissive of a third party role in resolving the dispute between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, stating that it was for the two neighbors to determine a verdict.

“Our policy on Kashmir has not changed. We believe the pace, scope and character of any discussion on Kashmir is for the two sides to determine,” a Spokesperson of the State Department told news agency PTI.

The statement was in response to Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui’s suggestion of a trilateral cooperation between India, China and Pakistan under the cover of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The Chinese envoy made these remarks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain shook hands amicably following a press conference by the leaders of the SCO in Qingdao last week.

China, however, distanced itself from the remarks of the ambassador, saying that “both India and Pakistan are China’s friends and neighbours”.

While being questioned about the recent UN report on Kashmir, the spokesperson said, “We are aware of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report” but refrained from adding any comment.

Recently, USA pulled out from the Human Rights Council of UN calling it ‘protector of rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias’ after the UN published a 49 page report calling out human rights abuses by armed forces in war ridden state of Kashmir. The report drew a lot of flak from India, including Asaddudin Owaisi and BJP.

India had called the first ever report of the United Nations on rights abuses in Kashmir as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the report was “overtly prejudiced” and sought to build a “false narrative”.

It violated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it said.

In the report released on Thursday, the UN had noted down human rights violations in both “Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir” and had sought an international inquiry into these abuses.

“India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report,” the MEA said.

It added that the report was a selective compilation of largely unverified information.

“The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression,” the MEA said.

“The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had said.

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