After New Delhi stripped Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) of its special status, it has emerged that the Modi administration’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his American counterpart Mike Pompeo of his government’s plan.
On Monday, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government revoked the disputed Himalayan territory’s special status by abrogating Article 370.
Sources inside the Indian government told The Print that this was not the first time Washington was briefed on this issue.
In February, two days after the Pulwama attack, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had phoned his US counterpart John Bolton of plans to do away with the special status.
The sources, however, said the decision to bifurcate the state came much later.
Jaishankar’s meeting with the US secretary of state came on the sidelines of the 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok on August 1.
Jaishankar had also reiterated to Pompeo that the US does not need to mediate in the Kashmir dispute and that any discussion on this issue, “if at all warranted”, will only be with Pakistan unilaterally.
The Indian government did not want to take a chance when it came to the US, and so all necessary safeguards were taken to apprise the Trump administration of the move, sources added.
Sources further said that the Ministry of External Affairs had also taken the UK, China, France and Russia into confidence over the move.
Similarly, envoys of all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) were also briefed.
During its briefing to the envoys, New Delhi shared that the proposals being mulled over in the Indian parliament are purely internal to the country itself.
“These are aimed at providing good governance, promoting social justice and ensuring economic development in IOK,” the source said.
“There has been no international reaction yet on this issue, which shows that India had done its calculations well in advance. And the US being an important and crucial member of the P-5, it is imperative to see how it reacts,” veteran diplomat KC Singh said.
“If it ignores the move, then perfect. If it does not, then India should be worried,” he added.
Modi and Trump are set to come face-to-face at the G-7 Summit in France later this month.
The Indian prime minister is also set to hold a bilateral meeting with Trump in September when both leaders will be in the US for the UN General Assembly.
Last month, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that it was time to “move on” from Trump’s ‘controversial’ statement on US interest in mediating the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
Trump, however, did it again. Last week, during a media briefing in Washington, the US president reiterated his offer to mediate on the issue.