The United States has said it continues to monitor the situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir closely while raising serious concerns over reports of detentions and continued curfew, which has entered its fourth week, in the held valley.
Calling for calm and restraint, a spokesperson of the US State Department said late on Thursday, “We continue to be very concerned by reports of detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of the region. We urge respect for human rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive dialogue with those affected.”
“We continue to call for calm and restraint, including on rhetoric,” the spokesperson added.
In view of increasing ceasefire violations by India along the LoC after the abrogation of Article 370, which provided a special status to the occupied region, the US said, “We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control. We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern.”
The spokesperson added that the US “notes the broader implications of the developments in [occupied] Jammu and Kashmir and the potential for increased instability in the region”.
India has maintained that the issue of withdrawing special status to the state and its bifurcation are “strictly internal” to the country. The US, meanwhile, has asked India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and hold dialogue to sort out differences.
“All the issues between India and Pakistan are of bilateral in nature, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally,” Modi had said at the G7 Summit.
He said India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and he was confident that the two neighbors can discuss their problems and solve them.
Trump had meanwhile said that PM Modi had told him that the situation was under control in Kashmir. “The Prime Minister really feels he has it [situation] under control. They speak with Pakistan and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” Trump said.
However, contrary to Indian claims, independent media reports have revealed that rights violations in the held valley are at an all-time high following the Aug 5 decision. On Wednesday, an exclusive AFP report, citing senior Indian official, disclosed that st least 500 incidents of protest have broken out in occupied Kashmir since New Delhi imposed a military clampdown more than three weeks ago.
“Efforts for easing the conditions are made all the time but nothing seems to be working for now. There is nervousness spreading in the security establishment,” the official had said.
Meanwhile, residents are refusing to resume their normal lives in an act of defiance, an AFP reporter in Srinagar reported.