New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held a telephonic conversation with the US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, about the United States’ involvement in the Kashmir issue, reinstating that Article 370 and all matters surrounding it are India’s “internal matter”.

Talking to the recently appointed US Defence Secretary, Singh expressed that India appreciated the support in its effort to maintain peace and stability in the region. However, he asserted that issues relating to Article 370 are India’s internal matter, aimed at improving economic development, democracy and prosperity for people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the conversation, Esper agreed with India’s stand and reaffirmed the US’ position on the Kashmir situation, stating that the issue must be resolved bilaterally.

Pakistan has made several efforts at hyping the Jammu and Kashmir issue on an international level. India has been in a war-like situation with the neighbouring country ever since the Centre revoked Article 370 that granted the state a special status.

The conversation comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with US President Donald Trump about regional security, following which the US President dialled Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan asking him to “moderate rhetoric” with India and reduce tension.

Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Owaisi slammed the Prime Minister for involving the US in the Jammu and Kashmir contention saying that India has been consistent in the fact that Kashmir is a bilateral issue. “Then what was the need for PM Modi to call US President Donald Trump and complain about it?” he asked.

Notably, tensions between India and Pakistan have been mounting since New Delhi abolished Article 370 of its Constitution on August 5, bifurcating the state into two union territories of Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.