Not interested, says Jaishankar after cancelling meeting with US lawmakers | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Not interested, says Jaishankar after cancelling meeting with US lawmakers

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Aug 09, 2020 06:37 AM IST

The external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said that the draft resolution sponsored by Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal lacks a fair understanding of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar cancelled a meeting with US lawmakers this week after they declined to exclude Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal from the team that was to meet him, according to a Washington Post report.

Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar speaks to the media after the 2019 U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, US.(REUTERS)
Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar speaks to the media after the 2019 U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, US.(REUTERS)

Jayapal, the Indian-American Congresswoman, has relentlessly focused on Kashmir for some time and is playing a lead role in pushing a resolution that asks India to end all communications restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Co-sponsored by Republican Steve Watkins, Jayapal, 54, the only Indian-American Congresswoman in the House of Representatives, introduced the resolution that nudges India to lift the communication clampdown, release political detainees and “preserve religious freedom for all residents” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Watch l ‘No interest in meeting US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’: S Jaishankar 

India believes that this resolution does not reflect the steps that the government had taken in Jammu and Kashmir that was split into two union territories. New Delhi cites security challenges including cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan as the key defence of the controversial restrictions imposed in Kashmir after the erstwhile state’s special status was revoked on August 5.

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar who is wrapping up his visit for the second India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Washington, was to meet the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot L Engel and others. But Indian mission cancelled the meeting after the lawmakers did not accept the request.

Jaishankar told reporters that said he was aware of the draft resolution sponsored by Pramila Jayapal. “I don’t think it is a fair understanding of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir or fair characterisation of what the Indian government is doing.I have no interest in meeting her,” he said, according to news agency ANI.

Asked if he treated the resolution seriously, Jaishankar elaborated: “I have an interest in meeting people who are objective and open to discussion but not the people who already made up their minds”.

Pramila Jayapal reacted to the Washington Post report about Jaishankar cancelling the meeting, calling it “deeply disturbing”.

“It only furthers the idea that the Indian government isn’t willing to listen to any dissent at all,” she tweeted.

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