The US State Department has said that the designation of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as a “global terrorist” does not reflect a change in the US policy on Kashmir.
“Our policy on Kashmir has not changed,” said a State Department spokesperson when asked if the designation indicated a change in the US policy on Kashmir, which Washington sees as a “disputed territory”, Dawn.com reported.
On June 26, the State Department declared Salahuddin, whose real name is Mohammad Yusuf Shah, a “specially designated global terrorist”.
American statement describes occupied territory as Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir
The reference to the need for “a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict” and the description of the territory as “Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir,” — although largely ignored in Pakistan — was noted by opposition parties in India.
In an earlier statement to Dawn, a State Department spokesperson had said that Washington saw Kashmir as a dispute that needed to be resolved peacefully.
“The pace, scope, and character of any discussions on Kashmir is for the two sides to determine, but we support any and all positive steps India and Pakistan can take to forge closer relations,” the spokesperson added.
During the Modi-Trump meeting, the US administration allowed both Kashmiri and Sikh communities to protest outside the White House.
Diplomatic observers in Washington say that the designation statement and the US position on Kashmir show that while eager to forge a close relationship with India, the United States also wants to maintain its ties with Pakistan.