The United States's two powerful Democratic lawmakers have urged Pakistan to refrain from any "retaliatory aggression" against India over the resolution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. They have also urged it to take "demonstrable action" against terrorist groups within its territory.
Upset over the Indian government abolished provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgraded diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
US top lawmakers Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Eliot Engel in a joint statement on Wednesday also expressed concern over the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
Menendez is a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while Engel is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"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,” they said in the statement.
Expressing concern over detention and restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, the lawmakers said that "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."
"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," they said.
The Indian Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
India has maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and the issue is strictly internal to the country.
(With inputs from PTI)
VIDEO: Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in J&K's Sunderbani