India Warns USA and tells to 'Respect our sovereignty'
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India Warns USA and tells ‘Respect our sovereignty’

The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, undertook a discreet six-day visit to Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) last week, which has raised concerns from India.

On Thursday, India conveyed its apprehensions to the United States regarding the visit of the US ambassador to Pakistan to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Tensions escalated significantly after US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, visited Gilgit-Baltistan and engaged with local residents. When questioned about the US diplomat’s visit, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, stated, “Our position on the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India is well known. We would like to urge the international community to respect our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Furthermore, as the dispute intensified, US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, was also questioned about his fellow diplomat’s visit to PoK. He responded by saying, “It’s not my place to react to the US Ambassador in Pakistan, but he’s been here before, and we obviously had part of our delegation in Jammu and Kashmir during G20 as well.” Garcetti also emphasized that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir should be resolved through bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan, without the involvement of any third party, including the US.

Blome’s visit to Gilgit Baltistan in PoK was kept undisclosed by embassy and Pakistani government officials. According to the Pakistani daily Dawn, Blome visited various areas and held meetings with local and government officials in Gilgit.

Last year, Blome visited Muzaffarabad, where he visited the Quaid-e-Azam Memorial Dak Bungalow. India had previously raised concerns with the US government as the ambassador’s statement had referred to PoK as ‘AJK’ (Azad Jammu and Kashmir).

In April of the previous year, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar had also visited PoK, which had drawn strong criticism from New Delhi. Arindam Bagchi had stated at the time, “She visited a part of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan. If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home, that may be her business, but violating our territorial integrity in its pursuit makes it ours.”

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