Af­ter flip-flop, Delhi takes up men­tion of J&K with Washington

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - NATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com n

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.

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