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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday took exception to the United States Department of State’s reference to the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in tweet, mentioning the disputed territory as “India’s Jammu and Kashmir”, reminded to the Biden Administration of J&K being one of oldest items on the agenda of the UNSC.

“We are disappointed to note the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the US Department of State’s tweet regarding the resumption of 4G mobile internet in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, in response of media queries with regard to the State Department’s tweet.

“We welcome the resumption of 4G mobile internet in India's Jammu & Kashmir. This marks an important step for local residents and we look forward to continued political & economic progress to restore normalcy in J&K,” the State Department stated in a tweet on Wednesday.

On Thursday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, however, clarified United States’ position on Kashmir when asked by journalists if there was any change in the US policy on Kashmir, saying: “I want to be very clear, there has been no change in US policy in the region.”

“The reference [in the tweet] is inconsistent with the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir as recognized by numerous United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the international community,” Chaudhry said.

He said that Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest items on the agenda of the UNSC, which remains unresolved because of India’s intransigence and unwillingness to implement the relevant UNSC resolutions and its own solemn commitments made to Pakistan, the Kashmiris and the international community.

He said that the political and economic progress of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is inextricably linked to the realisation of their desire for exercising the right to self-determination.

The spokesperson added that the international community, including the United States, must urge India to stop its consistent and systematic human rights violations in IIOJK – including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, incarceration of political leaders, ongoing efforts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris in fake “encounters”, and staged cordon-and-search operations – and take genuine steps to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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