For Trump administration, J&K is ‘Indian administered’

Despite the bear hug, the US government lets down ‘true friend’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi by undoing the Obama and Bush administrations’ tradition of referring to the state as Jammu and Kashmir

Photo courtesy: Twitter\@narendramodi
Photo courtesy: Twitter\@narendramodi

NH Web Desk

The optics may be good of Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugging US President Donald Trump though the latter was visibly uneasy. And, the talk is all about India-US relations being on a fine orbit unaffected by change of governments. However, is the Trump administration making subtle changes in its India policy?

Remember, President Trump, while pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord, was unhesitant in saying that it unfairly advantaged India.

In fact, a day before PM Modi landed in Washington, the Trump administration designated Syed Salahuddin, as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT)’—a long standing demand of India. However, there was a subtle—almost unnoticeable—change in the way the Trump administration has termed Jammu and Kashmir by calling the state as “Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir’ in its recent press release.

Was this how the Indian state was always referred to by the US government? Not really. If one were to browse through the archives on the US Department of State website, the previous American administrations—be it that of Barack Obama or George W Bush Jr—have almost always referred to ‘Jammu and Kashmir’ as just that.

Let’s consider a few instances:

The report of the ‘Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 2004’ that has been dated to February 28, 2005, there are 84 mentions of Jammu and Kashmir but there is not even a single reference to the state as ‘Indian administered’.

The report of the ‘Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 2005’ that has been dated to March 8, 2006, there are 85 mentions of Jammu and Kashmir but there is not even a single mention of the state as ‘Indian administered’.

India is a longstanding multiparty, federal, parliamentary democracy with a bicameral parliament and a population of approximately 1.1 billion.

While releasing the ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013’ on February 27, 2014, Uzra Zeya, the Acting Assistant Secretary (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor), while replying to a question specifically says: “including in Jammu and Kashmir…”.

Incidentally, former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday questioned the Narendra Modi government over the US describing Jammu and Kashmir as "Indian administered" in an official statement and asked how New Delhi accepted it.

Congress spokesman Ghulam Nabi Azad asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain why he or his government failed to lodge a protest so far. Pointing out that neither the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley or Home Minister Rajnath Singh for that matter has uttered a word against the Us State Department referring to Kashmir as ‘ Indian administered’, he wondered why the BJP is also silent on the issue.

The Congress spokesman also issued a statement to remind the Government:

  • That on June 2, 2006, US imposed sanctions on India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim following initiative by the then UPA Govt.
  • That on Aug 6, 2010, Pakistan based Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI) was declared a designated terrorist organisation by the US
  • That on Sept 15,2011- Indian Mujahideen, another Pak based terrorist organisation responsible for series of attacks was declared by US as terror organisation.
  • That on April 3, 2012 -US had put $10m bounty on Lashkar-e-Taiba's Hafiz Saeed

Deploring the NDA Government’s attempts to politicise terror, the Congress spokesman called for an end to war mongering on TV channels, false bravado and chest-thumping on issues related to national security.

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Published: 28 Jun 2017, 9:29 PM