America still considers Kashmir disputed territory: Alice G Wells
WASHINGTON: US Assistant Secretary of State Alice G Wells on Tuesday relayed to a Congressional panel that America had not changed its position on Kashmir and still considered it a disputed territory, despite India’s repealing its special status.
“We consider the Line of Control (LoC) a de facto line separating two parts of Kashmir. We recognise de facto administrations on both sides of LoC,” said Wells while responding to a query of Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Congressman Brad Sherman on if the US had accepted the LoC as an international boundary after India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution. She said this while talking to a panel of Congress members.
Alice G Wells said the US did not take position on the type of administration either by India or Pakistan, Dawn newspaper reported.
She also shared her statement in writing with the panel, which stated that the security situation in India-held Kashmir remained tense and clashes between youth and security forces were a regular occurrence.
Influential US lawmakers have expressed concern over the situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir after abrogation of special status of the held territory.
The lawmakers, including Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, aired their concerns during a Congressional hearing on Human Rights in South Asia.
Jayapal in her remarks said that India being a critical ally of the US needed to uphold its commitment to human rights.
Another Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been highly critical of India on Kashmir, said that partnership with India was strategic, but was also based on common values of human rights and democracy.
In his opening remarks, Congressman Brad Sherman said the entire world was paying attention on what was happening in Kashmir.