India's decision to change occupied Kashmir status quo must be addressed: US senator

Published: August 8, 2019
US Senator Lindsey Graham

US Senator Lindsey Graham PHOTO: REUTERS

US Senator Lindsey Graham expressed concern over India’s unilateral decision to change the status quo of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) and said the decision by New Delhi must be addressed “before it leads to a further escalation of tensions”.

The chairman of the US Senate’s judiciary committee, in a series of tweets, said he had a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and hoped that the Trump administration will provide assistance to the South Asian rivals to “deescalate the current crisis”.

“The last thing the region and the world needs is further military confrontations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.”

Pakistan on Wednesday downgraded diplomatic ties and suspended bilateral trade with India in response to New Delhi’s illegal annexation of disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

The decision was part of a series of measures announced by the government after civil-military leadership discussed the situation, arising out of Indian decision to abrogate Article 370 of its constitution, which gave the Himalayan region a special status.

Earlier 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.

The move comes at a time when South Asia is undergoing a paradigm shift as the United States and the Taliban come closer to a deal brokered by Pakistan.

Trump, who usually expresses his opinion on Twitter, is yet to respond to the situation but the US State Department issued a statement urging peace and stability along the LoC.


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