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US refuses to back Modi’s claims

Modi Speaks with BRICS leaders

WASHINGTON: The United States continues to view the Kashmir issue as a dispute that needs to be settled by both India and Pakistan, says the US State Department, while distancing itself from India’s claims over Azad Kashmir.

In his Independence Day speech on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to address the ongoing military oppression in India-held Kashmir.

Instead, he accused Islamabad of suppressing the people of Azad Kashmir and Balochistan, saying that “Pakistan shall have to answer to the world” for the alleged atrocities committed against the people in these regions.

At a Monday afternoon news briefing, an Indian journalist asked Elizabeth Trudeau, director of the US State Department Press Office, to address Mr Modi’s comments. The journalist also claimed that the people of Azad Kashmir were “all Indians,” and said to the State Department official that the “time has come now to speak out” for those people as they were not allowed to express their views.

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