US to stay neutral as Pakistan, India prepare for UN showdown



WASHINGTON: As Pakistan prepares to highlight the current situation in India-held Kashmir at the UN General Assembly and India plans to counter it by raising the Baloch issue, the United States has made it clear that it will not back either side.

“What we have said — nothing is changed about our view that we want to see India and Pakistan work this out bilaterally,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby when asked to define the US policy on Kashmir.

The US was one of the co-sponsors of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 that calls for “a free and impartial plebiscite” in Jammu and Kashmir on the question of its accession to India or Pakistan. But since then, it has slightly changed its position and for the past several decades calls for bilateral talks between the two countries for resolving this dispute. Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia and Britain were the other sponsors of the resolution that the UN Security Council adopted at its 286th meeting on April 21, 1948.

When asked how he viewed Pakistan’s efforts to raise the issue at international forums, Mr Kirby said: “That’s for them to speak to.”

A popular uprising in the Kashmir valley this summer has once again highlighted the issue as about 100 people have already been killed and almost 10,000 injured in clashes with Indian security forces.

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