Scope of discussion on Kashmir was for India to decide: US

United States has said that there has been inconsistency in the American description of Jammu and Kashmir  but insisted there was no change in its policy stating the “pace, scope and character” of any discussion on Kashmir is for India and Pakistan to determine.

“Our policy on Kashmir has not changed,” a state department spokesperson was quoted by a news gathering agency.

The clarification came after questions were raised about the different ways the US has described Jammu and Kashmir.  In one of the statements US had described Jammu and Kashmir as  Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir and this week it said the “Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir”.

In June while designating Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a “specially-designated global terrorist”, the State Department had said the militant group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 attack in “Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir”.

India, however, had played down the nomenclature by the US, saying similar terms had been used previously too.  In the past, the US had also used “India-held Kashmir”.  In the latest “country report on terrorism 2016”, released on Wednesday, the US used “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” to describe Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The use of the word “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” by the State Department was strongly opposed by the Indian Government.

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