September 2019 News

US State Department Stand At Variance With Trump's Remark On Kashmir

7 September 2019
The Economic Times
Dipanjan Roy Chaudhuri

New Delhi: India on Friday expressed surprise with US State Department Spokesperson's comments on internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir and noted that this is contradictory to President Donald Trump's remarks during his meeting with the Indian PM last month. 'We continue to be very concerned by widespread detentions, including of local political and business leaders, and the restrictions on the residents of the region. We are also concerned about reports that internet and mobile phone access continues to be blocked in certain regions,' US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in Washington on Thursday. 'We urge authorities to respect human rights and restore access to services such as the internet and mobile networks. We look forward to the Indian government's resumption of political engagement with local leaders and the scheduling of promised elections at the earliest opportunity.' Sources expressed surprise over these comments and noted that these are contradictory to what Trump told PM Narendra Modi in Biarritz on sidelines of G-7 summit. This is the second time since last Friday that US expressed concerns over internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Last week a US Embassy spokesperson in Delhi had expressed similar concerns. 'We continue to be very concerned by reports of detentions and continued restrictions on that residents. We urge respect for human rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive dialogue with those affected,' an US embassy spokesperson had said last week. Sources were sceptical over these comments made on human rights situation in Kashmir, four days after the Modi-Trump meet. Modi on August 26 during his maiden meeting with the US President since the decision to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution, categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation on Kashmir, asserting that the two countries can discuss and resolve all issues bilaterally and 'we don't want to trouble any third country'. Trump, on his part, conceded to India's position on Kashmir when he said India and Pakistan can sort out the issue between themselves. The US President said he and Modi discussed Kashmir. 'We spoke last about Kashmir, Prime Minister [Modi] really feels he has it under control. They speak with Pakistan and I'm sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,' Trump had said.