WASHINGTON D.C.: The US State Department on Thursday lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “unambiguous” and “important” statement, in which he warned citizens against joining the freedom movement in Indian occupied Kashmir.
During a speech on the eve of Torkham border inauguration on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran said that anyone wanting to go and fight in occupied Kashmir would do a “great injustice” to the Kashmiris by undermining their legitimate cause.
“Such an act would be an act of animosity towards the Kashmiris,” he had said, adding the Indian authorities were waiting for “any excuse” to crack down on the residents in the disputed Himalayan territory.
Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice G. Wells, while welcoming the remarks, said via Twitter: “Pakistan’s sustained commitment to counter all terrorist groups is critical to [regional] stability.”
Applaud PM @ImranKhanPTI’s unambiguous & important statement that militants from Pakistan who would carry out violence in Kashmir are enemies of both Kashmiris & Pakistan.We agree. Pakistan’s sustained commitment to counter all terrorist groups is critical to reg. stability. AGW
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) September 19, 2019
The statement by Wells comes ahead of the address by the Pakistan and Indian prime ministers at the UN General Assembly on Sept 27. Indian premier Narendra Modi will speak first, late Friday morning, while Prime Minister Khan will speak later in the afternoon.
Prime Minister Khan has already announced that he will highlight the Kashmir issue in his address, exposing the ethical and legal bankruptcy of India’s Aug 5 decision to annex the occupied valley.
On the other hand, media reports have emerged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not talk about the Aug 5 action or its humanitarian consequences. Instead, he would repeat New Delhi’s claim that Pakistan may send militants into the Valley to take advantage of the volatile situation.
Tensions have soared between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over Kashmir, since India stripped the occupied Valley of its special status on August 5.
New Delhi has repeatedly accused Pakistan of using proxy armed groups in Kashmir. However, independent Indian as well as international media reports have negated the claim.