Alice Wells denies India ‘consulted, informed’ US about Kashmir move

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Senior US diplomat Alice Wells on Wednesday rubbished claims that New Delhi reached out to Washington over its move to strip Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) of its special status.

“Contrary to press reporting, the Indian government did not consult or inform the US government before moving to revoke IOK’s special constitutional status,” said a statement released by the US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) attributing the senior diplomat.

Sources inside the Indian government had told ThePrint that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had apprised his American counterpart Mike Pompeo of their plan.

Interestingly, the sources claimed that this was not the first time Washington was briefed on this issue.

While earlier in February, two days after the Pulwama attack, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had phoned his US counterpart John Bolton of plans to do away with the special status.

aishankar’s meeting with the US secretary of state came on the sidelines of the 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok on August 1.

Jaishankar had also reiterated to Pompeo that the US does not need to mediate in the Kashmir dispute and that any discussion on this issue, “if at all warranted”, will only be with Pakistan unilaterally.

The publication had claimed that the Ministry of External Affairs had also taken the UK, China, France and Russia into confidence over the move.

Similarly, envoys of all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council were also briefed, it was reported.