September 2019 News

'Hope To See Rapid Action': US On Restrictions In Jammu And Kashmir

26 September 2019

United Nations: The United States wants New Delhi to quickly ease restrictions imposed in Kashmir, a senior official said Thursday after President Donald Trump met the leaders of India and Pakistan. 'We hope to see rapid action - the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained,' Alice Wells, the top State Department official for South Asia, told reporters. She also said that Trump 'is willing to mediate if asked by both parties' - although she noted that India has long rejected any outside role. 'The United States is concerned by widespread detentions, including those of politicians and business leaders, and the restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir,' she said. 'We look forward to the Indian government's resumption of political engagement with local leaders and the scheduling of the promised elections at the earliest opportunity,' she said. In August, the centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. A wide range of political leaders were detained and cellular and internet service were snapped off amid restrictions. Wells said the United States has raised concerns on Kashmir 'at the highest levels,' without saying if Trump brought up Kashmir with PM Modi. Trump on Sunday joined PM Modi in a joint rally of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston, with the two heaping praise on each other. He also heard concerns on Kashmir from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan.