Eric Garcetti

Row after US diplomat’s visit to PoK, US envoy says ‘not my place to react’

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome recently paid a six-day visit to Gilgit-Baltistan.

US Ambassdor to India Eric Garcetti on Tuesday said US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome’s visit to Gilgit-Baltistan is a matter which should be “resolved between India and Pakistan, not by any third party including the US.”

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome recently paid a six-day visit to Gilgit-Baltistan during which he visited different areas and met local representatives and Gilgit-Baltistan government officials, as per Dawn.

Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper.

As per the Pakistan-based news daily, the Ambassador’s tour was kept secret by both the embassy and local government as no details about the visit were provided to the media. The only official information about the envoy’s visit came in a statement issued by the Gilgit Baltistan deputy speaker’s office.

Blome also met Food and Tourism Minister Ghulam Muham­mad in Gilgit.

The US Ambassador Garcetti said: “It’s not my place to react to the US Ambassador in Pakistan but I know he’s been before and we have had obviously parts of our delegation in Jammu and Kashmir during the G20 as well.”

“We’ll stay engaged but it has to be something that is resolved between India and Pakistan, not by any third party including the US,” he said.

Speaking on US President Joe Biden’s India visit, he said “there is an Invitation but schedule is not confirmed”.

According to the Dawn News, Blome also visited the port city of Gwadar days before his visit to Gilgit Baltistan, where China is executing infrastructure projects as part of CPEC.

Opposition leader in Gilgit-Baltistan, Kazim Mesum has, however, questioned Blome’s visit to Gilgit-Baltistan.

The opposition leader of GB, Kazim Mesum in the GB assembly on Friday said, “the mysterious activities” of the US ambassador in the region has raised questions, adding that the GB government was not aware of the visit, as per Dawn.

“There is a set procedure for any country’s ambassador to visit the region,” he said, and called Blome’s arrival in Gilgit after visiting Gwadar “suspicious”.

The opposition leader said visits to the two most vital areas of CPEC were part of “the US’ CPEC containment policy”.

“The ambassador visited areas from which the CPEC route will pass,” Mesum was quoted as saying by Dawn news.

“There are many under construction mega projects in GB including CPEC, Diamer Bhasha Dam, while threats of insurgency from Afghanistan and local security issues also exist” Messum added

During this time, the “undisclosed visit” was alarming, he said.

According to Pakistan based news outlet The News International the US Ambassador in Pakistan Donald Blome was on a multi-day private visit to Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Ambassador was visiting various recreational places as well as ongoing projects of UNDP with the help of the local government the News reported.

According to the News International the American ambassador visited the Attabad Lake after reaching Hunza and also went to the Karakoram International University.

The American ambassador also visited the Hunza royal palace, along with the American delegation.


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