US Refuses To Back Modi’s Claims

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WASHINGTON: The United States continues to view the Kashmir issue as a dispute that needs to be settled by both India and Pakistan, says the US State Department, while distancing itself from India’s claims over Pakistan controlled Kashmir.

In his Independence Day speech on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to address the ongoing military oppression in Kashmir.

Elizabeth Trudeau, director of the US State Department Press Office, while replying to an Indian journalist’s queries refused to endorse Modi’s claims.

“I wouldn’t speak on Mr Modi’s comments. That would be for him to speak to,” said Ms Trudeau. “Our position, as you well know, on Kashmir has not changed. The pace, the scope, the character of any discussions on Kashmir is for the two sides to determine.”

The US official also urged Pakistan and India to work jointly to resolve this issue, which Pakistan warns has the potential to lead to yet another war between South Asia’s two nuclear-armed states. “We support any and all positive steps that India and Pakistan can take to forge closer relations,” she said.

Instead of addressing the alleged Pakistani atrocities in PcK, Ms Trudeau referred to clashes between civilian demonstrators and Indian forces in the Kashmir Valley and encouraged “all sides” to seek a peaceful solution.

“We’re aware of the clashes. We remain concerned about the violence, and we encourage all sides to make efforts to finding a peaceful resolution,” she said.

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