India Accepts ‘Indian Administered Kashmir’

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Srinagar— In a surprising repudiation of its earlier objections to the usage, the External Affairs Ministry on Thursday accepted the term “Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir” used by US in the statement to designate Hizbul Mujahideen commander Syed Salahuddin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

“The use of the term ‘Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir’ merely affirms our position that Syed Salahuddin has been involved in cross-border terrorism in India,” the MEA spokesperson  said.

The spokesperson downplayed the significance of the American wording, saying the term had been used before. “Similar term has been used in the State Department’s country reports on terrorism brought out every year, including in 2010-2013,” he said.

However, earlier in June the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Offices in Geneva, Mr. Rajiv Chandar had told the Human Rights Council that the term was unacceptable. During the proceedings of the 35th session, Ambassador Chandar objected to the use of the term by the Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory. Therefore, the neutrality of the phrase “Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir” is artificial,” the Indian envoy had said.

This has taken the former diplomats in India by surprise who think the term ‘Indian-administered Kashmir doesn’t sit easy with the country’s position that J&K was its  “integral part”.

“We don’t allow any map or book or magazine to be published with anything but a full map of Jammu and Kashmir. How can we accept a term like this which divides Jammu and Kashmir?” the former Ambassador Rajiv Dogra told The Hindu newspaper. Dogra who has served in Pakistan also called the MEA statement “irresponsible”.

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