Alice Wells Says United Sates Urged India to Restore Kashmir Rights

United Nations: The Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells said that the United States wants New Delhi to quickly ease restrictions imposed in India-held Kashmir. She said that the United States had concerns over the clampdown in the region. “We hope to see rapid action the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained,”

“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,” Wells quoted by AFP,  “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 added. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and served as the trigger for two of their full-fledged wars. “The world would benefit from reduced tensions and increased dialogue between the two countries and, given these factors, the president is willing to mediate if asked by both parties,” she said.

President Donald Trump met separately this week with both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and offered to mediate to ease tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir if both agreed. However, India has long rejected any outside role on Kashmir and quickly shot down the idea after Trump mentioned mediation in a July meeting with Khan. The Modi led government says that its actions will spur economic development in Kashmir and defends the restrictions as temporary means to ensure calm and prevent Pakistan from meddling.

India in August revoked the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, which had been India’s only Muslim-majority state. It detained a wide range of political leaders and restricted communications for ordinary people. While some measures have been eased, internet and cellular service has remained off for almost two months.

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