US denies ‘India consulted’ on Kashmir move

Washington lifts travel restrictions on Pak diplomats

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ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON
United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells denied on Wednesday press reports claiming that India had informed the United States before revoking the special status granted to occupied Kashmir.
In a tweet, the SCA account attributed to Wells mentioned that the Indian government neither consulted nor informed the US government before it revoked the status.“Contrary to press reporting, the Indian government did not consult or inform the US Government before moving to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. – AGW, said the tweet.
Alice Wells, along with a high-level US delegation arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday, to hold delegation-level talks with the Pakistani leadership. Wells’ visit comes a day after the Indian government had rushed through a presidential decree to abolish Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to Indian occupied Kashmir.
Meanwhile, in a major development, Washington on Wednesday lifted restrictions on the movement of Pakistani diplomats and officials in the United States (US). The Pakistani diplomatic staff had to take permission at least five days ahead from the US authorities if they needed to travel outside of the imposed 25 miles radius. Now, the Pakistani diplomats could travel in the US without any hurdle.
The US had imposed travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats, officials and their family members last year on May 11. Earlier on May 11, soon after following the implementation of US restrictions on Pakistani diplomats, the Foreign Ministry had announced ‘reciprocal’ travel restrictions on US diplomats. Pakistani authorities had sent a letter to the US embassy in Islamabad notifying them about the travel restrictions on the movement of US diplomats in the country.

Other than travelling limitation, rest of the measures had announced by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan include treating US diplomatic cargo at Pakistani airports and ports in accordance with Vienna Convention’s Article 27 (which does not provide for an exemption from scanning) and taking no objection certificate (NOC) from the ministry before installing radio communication at residences, and while moving or renting property.

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