After flip-flop, Delhi takes up mention of J&K with Washington
It was a day of flip-flop for the external affairs ministry on the use of “Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir” by the US in a statement issued during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After defending the US, the ministry late on Thursday said, “India’s position that the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India is well known. The US government has been apprised of the same once again.”
But it was a departure from the statement made by the MEA in the morning. India had earlier objected to the UN Human Rights chief’s usage of ‘Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir’ at a human rights council meeting at Geneva recently, saying the entire state is an “integral part of India” and therefore the neutrality of the term “Indian-administered Kashmir” is artificial.
On Monday, while designating Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”, the US State Department had said the militant group had claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in “Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir”, which injured 17 people.
Responding to a query, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the use of the term ‘Indian- administered Jammu and Kashmir’ affirmed the India’s stand that Salahuddin had been involved in cross-border terrorism against India.
“Similar term has been used in the State Department’s country reports on terrorism brought out every year, including in the period 2010-2013, in the context of cross-border terrorism perpetrated on India. India’s consistent position that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India is well known,” he said. The MEA spokesperson’s remarks came amid criticism by the Congress over the acceptance of the term by the government.
“The US official statement used the phrase ‘Indian- administered Jammu and Kashmir’. How did India accept this?” senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had asked in a tweet.
Baglay also said India has welcomed the designation of Salahuddin as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ by the US.