US official to India: Lift curbs, release detainees in Kashmir
New York: The United
States hopes to see rapid action by India to lift restrictions it has imposed
in Kashmir and the release of detainees in the Valley, the senior U.S. diplomat
for South Asia said on Thursday.
Alice Wells, the
acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia, referred to a plan laid out
by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for restoring political life in Jammu and
Kashmir after India last month removed the decades-old autonomy it had enjoyed
under India’s constitution.
“I think we are
interested in knowing the next steps,” she told reporters. “We hope to see
rapid action in the lifting of restrictions and the release of those who have
Wells added that
“a lowering of rhetoric would be welcome, particularly between two nuclear
after U.S. President Donald Trump met separately with both Modi and Pakistani
Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New
Trump urged Modi to improve ties with Pakistan and “fulfill his promise to
better the lives of the Kashmiri people,” the White House said.
The previous day
Khan had urged Trump in a meeting to use U.S. influence to help end India’s
“siege” of the volatile territory.
Trump this week
reiterated that he would be willing to mediate between India and Pakistan over
Kashmir. Wells said Modi had made clear he was not seeking mediation.
Wells also asked
Pakistan why it is only bothered about the human rights of Muslims in Kashmir
and is not highlighting the “horrific conditions” which continue to
exist for the members of the community throughout China.
Alice Wells, during
her special briefing at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
criticised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for not speaking out against
China, which has detained an estimated one million Uyghurs and other
Turkic-speaking Muslims in Xinjiang province.
like to see the same level of concern expressed also about Muslims who are
being detained in Western China, literally in concentration-like conditions.
And so being concerned about the human rights of Muslims does extend more
broadly than Kashmir, and you’ve seen the administration very involved here
during the UN General Assembly and trying to shine a light on the horrific
conditions that continue to exist for Muslims throughout China,” Wells