The United States has said India's decision to revoke Article 370, which gave a special status to Kashmir, was the country's "internal matter" and called for peace in the region. This comes as a blow to Pakistan's diplomatic effort to raise international concern over the developments in India. The United States, however, said it was concerned about reports of detentions in the state and following the developments closely . "We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities," US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.
Ortagus noted India's action in the J&K was "strictly internal matter". Meanwhile, another US State Department official urged India to "respect individual rights" while calling for peace. The Rajya Sabha passed the J&K Reorganisation Bill on Monday amid protests from opposition Congress and J&K's regional parties. The bill divides J&K and Ladakh; the two will now be union territories. The government imposed section 144 in the state on Monday morning ahead of the parliament proceedings where Amit Shah announced the decision to revoke Article 370. Schools and colleges in J&K have been closed until further orders. Mainstream party leaders, including Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, have been placed under house arrest.
Pakistan had recently approached the US to intervene on the issue of J&K. United States Donald Trump had proposed to mediate between India and Pakistan. During Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the US, Trump said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan during the sideline of the G-20 Summit in June. However, India's Ministry of External Affairs denied that the Prime Minister had made any such request to Trump.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India's position on Jammu and Kashmir was clear that all issues related to J&K should be discussed bilaterally. "Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally" the MEA spokesperson said.
Edited by Manoj Sharma