State Department spokesperson Ned Price clarified on Wednesday that the United States has not changed its policy on Kashmir. “I want to be very clear there has been no change in US policy in the region,” said Price at a press briefing in Washington.
Price’s response was to a journalist’s query. He was clarifying the recent tweet by the department in which the occupied Himalayan valley was referred as “India’s Jammu and Kashmir”.
“Is this a change in policy? Does the State no longer recognize this (Jammu and Kashmir) as a disputed territory? Is there some sort of change in position that we need to know?” a journalist had asked while referring to the tweet.
“There’s been certain criticism of the phrasing today.”
Washington still considers both Jammu and Kashmir as a territory disputed between India and Pakistan, reported Dawn correspondent Anwar Iqbal in his dispatch from DC.
The clarification, it said, followed a string of statements by President Biden and senior officials of his administration, outlining their policies towards the South and Central Asian regions.
“The policy outlines (however) indicate a gradual change of emphasis from Pakistan and Afghanistan to China,” the dispatch noted. “The statements also show a greater US reliance on India to help counter China’s growing influence in the region. But the clarification on the Kashmir issue shows that the Biden administration is not insensitive to Pakistan’s concerns either,” it added.
IQBAL adds: Pakistan, however, said it was “disappointed” by the reference to Jammu and Kashmir by the State Department.
“We are disappointed to note the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the US Department of State’s tweet…” the Foreign Office spokesperson said when asked about the tweet.
He said “the reference is inconsistent with the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir as recognized by numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions and the international community.”