US, UN urge India and Pakistan to return to table

US official seeks a ‘roadmap’ from India, to political and economic normalcy in IOK


Anadolu Agency October 25, 2019
US official seeks a ‘roadmap’ from India, to political and economic normalcy in Indian Occupied Kashmir. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA: The US has once again offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, besides calling for a political and economic "roadmap" for the region and immediate release of all political detainees.

The offer came on Thursday, the same day when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also pressed for dialogue between the two countries to resolve the issue.

''He [President Trump] certainly is prepared to play a mediation role, if both the countries ask. It has been India's position not to seek outside mediation," news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported, quoting a senior US State Department official.

The news agency also quoted the Acting Assistant Secretary Asia Alice G Wells, saying the US will continue to press for a roadmap, for the restoration of political and economic normalcy.

"We have seen progress, for example, four million postpaid mobile phone users have had service restored, but SMS and internet are restricted…The US remains deeply concerned about the situation in the Kashmir Valley, where daily life of nearly eight million residents has been severely impacted,” she said.

Meanwhile, responding to questions, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will continue to call for "the situation to be resolved through dialogue and that any solution be rooted in the respect for human rights of the people who live in Kashmir”.

Oldest unresolved conflict on UNSC agenda

The issue of Indian Occupied Kashmir is the oldest unresolved international conflict on the UNSC agenda since 1948.

The IOK has been under a near-complete lockdown since Aug. 5, when New Delhi scrapped the special status of the region, previously codified in the Indian Constitution's Article 370, which allowed it to enact its own laws.

The provisions also protected the region's citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

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