US welcomes PM Imran’s ‘unambiguous, important’ statement on Kashmir

The US State Department on Thursday commended Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “unambiguous and important” statement, in which he warned citizens against joining the fight in occupied Kashmir.

Prime Minister Imran on Wednesday had 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 while speaking to the media.

Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice G. Wells, while welcoming the premier’s remarks, said: “Pakistan’s sustained commitment to counter all terrorist groups is critical to [regional] stability.”

The statement by Wells comes ahead of the address by the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers at the UN General Assembly on Sept 27.

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.

Indian diplomats in New York and Washington have informed Indian journalists that Indian premier Narendra Modi will not talk about the Aug 5 action or its consequences. Instead, he would repeat New Delhi’s claim that Pakistan may send militants into the valley to take advantage of the volatile situation.

Prime Minister Khan has already made it clear that Pakistan not only opposes all such activities but has also increased its vigilance to prevent militants from taking advantage of the situation. Islamabad fears that India may use infiltrators to carry out violent attacks inside Kashmir and blame Pakistan.

‘India is stuck’
Prime Minister Imran, in response to a question on Wednesday, said that India, while stationing 900,000 troops in Kashmir, had always blamed Pakistan for instability in the occupied region.

“Anyone going from here will give them the pretext to blame Pakistan for cross-border terrorism and infiltrating terrorists,” he said, adding that India has previously accused Pakistan of cross-border terrorism.

“The entire world’s attention was drawn towards us, Pakistan. Now India is stuck.

“And the pressure is building up day by day.

“Now this is what I am going to say: anyone making any such attempt [to cross over into Kashmir to fight] would be an enemy of Pakistan as well as an enemy of Kashmiris,” he asserted.