US states it is against independence for Balochistan, says it respects unity of Pakistan

Washington: The US has said it is against independence for the Pakistani province of Balochistan where there have been allegations of human rights violations that were flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech.

US against independence for Balochistan. Reuters

US against independence for Balochistan. Reuters

"The government... US government respects the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan, and we do not support independence for Balochistan," US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in his daily press briefing on Monday.

He said this in response to a question on Prime Minister Modi's remarks on 15 August about human rights violations in Balochistan.

In a first for any Indian Prime Minister in an 15 August Independence Day speech, Modi referred to human rights violations in Balochistan and the part of Kashmir that Pakistan controls.

"The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan and occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days. I am grateful to them," Modi said referring to his comments earlier in the month at an all-party meeting on reported excesses in Pakistan's largest province and in the part of Kashmir it holds.

He said the way the people of these Pakistani regions "wished me well, gives me great joy." In thanking an Indian Prime Minister, "they have thanked the whole population of India", he said. "I want to offer gratitude to these people."

The public reference to Balochistan by Modi was viewed as India hitting back at Pakistan for persistently raising the Kashmir issue and its attempts to internationalise it.

Updated Date: Sep 13, 2016 14:56 PM

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