Pakistan must take action against terrorists, refrain from retaliatory aggression, says US

In a stern message to Pakistan, the United States asked the country to take demonstrable action against terrorism on home soil instead of focusing on any “retaliatory aggression.” The statement came hours after Islamabad downgraded the diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India, after the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370, Article 35A and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).

US House Foreign Affairs Committee released a joint statement by Eliot L Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday.

“As the world’s largest democracy, India has an opportunity to demonstrate for all its citizens the importance of protecting and promoting equal rights, including freedom of assembly, access to information, and equal protections under the law. Transparency and political participation are the cornerstones of representative democracies, and we hope the Indian government will abide by these principles in Jammu and Kashmir.

“And at the same time Pakistan must refrain from any retaliatory aggression—including support for infiltrations across the Line of Control—and take demonstrable action against the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil.”

On the issue of scrapping Article 370, the Narendra Modi government has made it clear that it is an internal matter and the decision has been taken keeping its interest in mind.

New Delhi Wednesday abrogated Article 370 which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir after a resolution regarding the same was passed in both houses of the Parliament earlier this week. The Centre also passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill 2019 which bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir (with a legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).