"US Closely Following Legislation On Territorial Status Of J&K," Says Official

"We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern," the US State Department spokesperson said

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'US Closely Following Legislation On Territorial Status Of J&K,' Says Official

India maintains that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is strictly internal


Washington: 

Highlights

  1. US official's reaction hours after Pak expels Indian envoy
  2. Parliament approved resolution ending special status to J&K
  3. US calls for calm and restraint by all parties: State Department

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.

The developments came after 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 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 diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

On Wednesday, the US had said there was an "urgent need" for dialogue to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia. It had also 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".

"We continue to be concerned by reports of detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir," the State Department spokesperson said.

"We urge respect for individual rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive dialogue with those affected." 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.

India has maintained that the issue is strictly internal to the country.

Early this year, tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama.

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.



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