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Washington urges respect for human rights in Kashmir

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The United States on Thursday expressed deep concern over India’s restrictions on the state of Jammu and Kashmir and urged respect for human rights in the New Delhi-controlled part of the disputed region with Pakistan.

A spokeswoman for the US State Department, in a written statement to Anatolia, preferring not to be named, said that “Washington is watching the situation closely” in the “Jammu and Kashmir,” which the latter annexed to its territory recently.

“We note the broader implications of developments in Jammu and Kashmir and the potential for increased instability in the region.”

Washington remains “deeply concerned about reports of arrests and ongoing restrictions on the population in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

“We urge respect for human rights, compliance with legal procedures, and an inclusive dialogue with those affected.”

“We call on all parties (India and Pakistan) to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control and to prevent cross-border terrorism.”

“We continue to support the direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” she concluded.

On August 5, the Indian government abolished the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants self-rule to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, under its control from the region.

The article also gives Kashmiris alone in the state the right to permanent residence, as well as the right to employment in government departments, own property, and receive educational grants.

The amendment came by presidential decree, meaning that its activation does not need ratification by Parliament, while the government maintained the same article as it defines the relationship between Jammu, Kashmir and India.

The next day, the upper and lower chambers of the Indian parliament ratified the decision to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two regions (Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh), which are directly under the central government; but the resolution needs to be passed by the president to become law.

The Indian authorities cut off telephone, Internet and television broadcasts in the area and imposed restrictions on movement and assembly.

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