US urges respect for HR, peace

Washington: US State Department has urged respect for human rights and called for the maintenance of peace

along the de facto border in Kashmir after India end Occupied Kashmir’s special status by abrogating Article

35A and Article 370, stripping it of the significant autonomy it has enjoyed for seven decades.

New Delhi s action sparked fears of further violence in the Muslim-majority Himalayan territory, where India

and Pakistan have conflicting claims.”We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for

individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan

Ortagus said in a statement.

Just ahead of the Indian announcement, senior former and current Kashmiri political leaders said that they had been put under house arrest.”We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control”

that divides the Pakistani and Indian sectors of the disputed territory, Ortagus said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi s Hindu-nationalist party rushed through a presidential decree to scrap from the constitution special status for the Indian-ruled part of Kashmir.

It also moved a bill proposing the Indian-administered part of Kashmir be divided into two regions directly ruled by New Delhi.

Ortagus said the US is “closely following” events in Jammu and Kashmir state, but noted that India has

described its actions as “strictly an internal matter.”

US President Donald Trump last month claimed, during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan,

that Modi had asked Trump to help mediate the Kashmir dispute.

While Pakistan has often sought third-party mediation in the decades-old disagreement which has cost tens of

thousands of lives, the idea is anathema to India, which has always insisted the issue can only be resolved