Washington DC [USA]: In the wake of India's decision to strip special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan must refrain from any retaliatory aggression, including support for infiltrations across the Line of Control (LoC) and take demonstrable action against terror infrastructure on its soil, said a joint statement by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
The statement issued by Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that transparency and political participation are the cornerstones of representative democracies and hoped that the Indian government would abide by these principles in Jammu and Kashmir.
"As the world's largest democracy, India has an opportunity to demonstrate for all its citizens the importance of protecting and promoting equal rights, including freedom of assembly, access to information, and equal protection under the law," the statement said. "Transparency and political participation are the cornerstones of representative democracies and we hope the Indian government will abide by these principles in Jammu and Kashmir," it added.
"And at the same time, Pakistan must refrain from any retaliatory aggression--including support for infiltrations across the Line of Control--and take demonstrable action against the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan's soil," the statement said. The joint statement comes amid spiralling tensions between India and Pakistan which came after the Indian Parliament passed a resolution to revoke Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and a bill bifurcating the border state into two Union Territories earlier this week. Rattled by New Delhi's decisions, Islamabad "rejected" the move and said it will exercise "all possible options" to counter the steps.