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06-06-2020     3 رجب 1440

After envoy’s Kashmir visit, US ‘concerned’ over political detentions, internet shutdown

US State Deptt describes visit of foreign envoys as ‘important step’

January 13, 2020 | AGENCIES

 The US State Department has said that the recent visit of envoys of 15 countries to Jammu and Kashmir is an ‘important step,’ but expressed concern over the continued detention of political leaders and restrictions on internet in the region.
The restrictions were imposed on August 5 last when India abrogated the Article 370 that gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories.
In the first such trip by foreign diplomats post August 5, envoys of 15 countries, including the U.S., last week visited Jammu and Kashmir where they interacted with select political representatives, civil society members as well as top military brass with the Indian government, rejecting criticism that it was a guided tour.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells, who will be travelling to South Asia this week, on Saturday expressed hope that the region will return to normalcy.
“Closely following @USAmbIndia and other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to Jammu & Kashmir. Important step. We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy,” she said in a tweet.
Wells will travel to New Delhi from January 15 to January 18 to attend the Raisina Dialogue. She will also meet with senior government officials to advance the U.S.-India strategic global partnership following the success of the 2019 US-India 2 2 Ministerial Dialogue, and will discuss topics of mutual interest with members of the business community and civil society.
From New Delhi, Ms. Wells will fly to Islamabad where she will meet with Pakistan’s top officials and members of civil society to discuss issues of bilateral and regional concern.
Reacting sharply to India’s decision, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian high commissioner.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the diplomats got "to see first-hand the efforts that have been made by the government to normalise the situation".
The trip included meetings with the army, politicians, civil society groups and journalists selected by the security services.
The diplomats were not given access to Omar Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti - former Chief Ministers and the leaders of the two political parties that have historically dominated Jammu and Kashmir's politics - who remain under detention.
The ambassadors who visited Jammu and Kashmir came from smaller nations such as Togo, Niger and Guyana. Countries in the European Union and India's allies in the Middle East did not go on the trip.
On Friday, the Supreme Court said that an indefinite shutdown of the internet in Kashmir was illegal, rebuking the government for the communications lockdown.
Internet suspensions can be imposed only for "temporary duration" and an indefinite suspension violated India's telecoms rules, the court said. It also ordered authorities to review all such curbs in Kashmir immediately.

 

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After envoy’s Kashmir visit, US ‘concerned’ over political detentions, internet shutdown

US State Deptt describes visit of foreign envoys as ‘important step’

January 13, 2020 | AGENCIES

 The US State Department has said that the recent visit of envoys of 15 countries to Jammu and Kashmir is an ‘important step,’ but expressed concern over the continued detention of political leaders and restrictions on internet in the region.
The restrictions were imposed on August 5 last when India abrogated the Article 370 that gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories.
In the first such trip by foreign diplomats post August 5, envoys of 15 countries, including the U.S., last week visited Jammu and Kashmir where they interacted with select political representatives, civil society members as well as top military brass with the Indian government, rejecting criticism that it was a guided tour.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells, who will be travelling to South Asia this week, on Saturday expressed hope that the region will return to normalcy.
“Closely following @USAmbIndia and other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to Jammu & Kashmir. Important step. We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy,” she said in a tweet.
Wells will travel to New Delhi from January 15 to January 18 to attend the Raisina Dialogue. She will also meet with senior government officials to advance the U.S.-India strategic global partnership following the success of the 2019 US-India 2 2 Ministerial Dialogue, and will discuss topics of mutual interest with members of the business community and civil society.
From New Delhi, Ms. Wells will fly to Islamabad where she will meet with Pakistan’s top officials and members of civil society to discuss issues of bilateral and regional concern.
Reacting sharply to India’s decision, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian high commissioner.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the diplomats got "to see first-hand the efforts that have been made by the government to normalise the situation".
The trip included meetings with the army, politicians, civil society groups and journalists selected by the security services.
The diplomats were not given access to Omar Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti - former Chief Ministers and the leaders of the two political parties that have historically dominated Jammu and Kashmir's politics - who remain under detention.
The ambassadors who visited Jammu and Kashmir came from smaller nations such as Togo, Niger and Guyana. Countries in the European Union and India's allies in the Middle East did not go on the trip.
On Friday, the Supreme Court said that an indefinite shutdown of the internet in Kashmir was illegal, rebuking the government for the communications lockdown.
Internet suspensions can be imposed only for "temporary duration" and an indefinite suspension violated India's telecoms rules, the court said. It also ordered authorities to review all such curbs in Kashmir immediately.

 


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.