The US has categorically stated that it does not support independence for Balochistan and that it respects the territorial integrity of Pakistan. Washington's firm reaction came after India raised the issue for the first time at the UN.

On Wednesday (14 September), India approached the UN accusing Pakistan of widespread human rights violations in Balochistan and also in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India's envoy to the UN in Geneva said: "The fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir is the cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan which has provided active support since 1989 to separatist groups and terrorist elements including those operating from the territory under Pakistan's control. Pakistan has once again sought to mask its territorial ambitions and use of terrorism as a state policy under the garb of concern for human rights."

State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters: "The US government respects the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan and we do not support independence for Balochistan."

India is considering raising the Balochistan issue during the UN General Assembly session later this month. The country's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to deliver an address on 26 September when she is likely to bring up the matter.

Pakistan has also reportedly lashed out at India for trying to internationalise the Balochistan issue by raising it at the UN. Islamabad said New Delhi was attempting to divert attention from the unrest in Kashmir by playing up the situation in the Pakistani province.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to speak days ahead of Swaraj in New York allowing India to respond to Islamabad's stance. "So if Mr Sharif talks about Kashmir, he should be ready to see Balochistan raised inside the UN General Assembly," an Indian source told the Pakistani daily Dawn.