Article 370: US closely observing events in Jammu & Kashmir

Washington: The US has said it is “closely” observing the events in Jammu and Kashmir following the Indian government scrapping the constitutional provision that accorded special status to the state and urged all stakeholders to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control (LoC).

The Indian government on Monday revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Rajya Sabha approved the resolution abrogating Article 370 and a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, with Home Minister Amit Shah saying the controversial provisions were responsible for poverty and lack of development in the state.

Without naming Pakistan, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus on Monday told PTI, “We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control.”

Pakistan has condemned and rejected the Indian government’s move and vowed to exercise “all possible options” to counter, which it called, India’s “illegal” and “unilateral” step.

“We are closely following the events in Jammu and Kashmir. We take note of India’s announcement revising the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and India’s plan to split the state into two union territories,” Ortagus said when asked to comment on India’s decision to revoke special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier in the day, Ministry of External Affairs briefed the envoys of the P5 nations — the US, the UK, China, France and Russia — about Indian government’s decision to scrap Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories.

Ortagus noted that India has described the actions in J&K as “strictly an internal matter.”

She, however, expressed concern about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. ‘We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with the affected communities,’ Ortagus said.