India snubs US' attempt to mediate Kashmir issue

Both India and Pakistan claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. In photo: Indian soldiers patrol the highly dangerous Line of Control -- a de facto border separating the two largest south Asian nations. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 04, 2017, 06.14 PM (IST)

India reiterated its stance that Kashmir was a bilateral issue with Pakistan, hours after the United States wished to "de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward".

India's ministry of external affairs said they were willing to talk about Kashmir if terrorism sponsored from across the border abated.

“We of course expect the international community and organisations to enforce international mechanisms, and mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, that continues to be the single biggest threat to peace in our region,” the statement released by the ministry stated.

New Delhi was responding to US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s comment about the Kashmir issue.

In a departure from previous US administrations' decision to stay away from the conflict in south Asia, Haley said: "It’s absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward.”

The senior member of the Donald Trump administration also expressed its intention of being a "part of that (defusing tension in the region)".

“We very much think that we should be proactive in the way that we are seeing tensions rise and conflicts start to bubble up and so we want to see if we can be a part of that,” Haley said.

Haley also spoke about China's persistent vetos to label Jaish-e-Mohammad head Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

“The administration very much is looking at all of these avenues and some of the things we have talked about is sanctions and who is on the list and how we have managed that,” she said.

New Delhi has blamed Azhar for orchestrating deadly coordinated attacks in 2008, which left 164 people dead and further 308 injured.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Rebel groups have for decades fought roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the region, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.

The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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