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Home / India News / US Congressional Panel expresses bipartisan ‘concern’ over J&K situation

US Congressional Panel expresses bipartisan ‘concern’ over J&K situation

“We note with concern that conditions in Jammu and Kashmir have not normalised one year after India’s repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory,” Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, and Michael T McCaul, a Republican member, wrote in the letter.

india Updated: Aug 07, 2020 08:47 IST
Yashwant Raj and Rezaul Laskar
Yashwant Raj and Rezaul Laskar
Hindustan Times, Washington/New Delhi
Republicans have been mostly supportive through their silence, taking the lead from the Trump administration’s response that it was an “internal matter” of India.
Republicans have been mostly supportive through their silence, taking the lead from the Trump administration’s response that it was an “internal matter” of India. (PTI Photo)

A US House of Representatives panel on foreign relations expressed bipartisan “concern” at the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in a letter to external affairs minister S Jaishankar, but India contended on Thursday that “positive changes” in the Union territory have ensured a “return to complete normalcy”.

“We note with concern that conditions in Jammu and Kashmir have not normalised one year after India’s repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory,” Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, and Michael T McCaul, a Republican member, wrote in the letter.

It was a rare instance of bipartisan criticism of the changes in Kashmir. Democrats have condemned it before at many public forums, headlined most prominently by senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, an Indian-American.

Republicans have been mostly supportive through their silence, taking the lead from the Trump administration’s response that it was an “internal matter” of India.

Engel and McCaul sought to soft-land the criticism by averring themselves as “champions” of the India-US relationship.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “This letter reflects a strong bipartisan support for India in the US. Regarding the specific issue that you referred to, there have been several positive changes in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir over the past one year, whether it be in terms of ensuring good governance or socio-economic development or delivering justice to disadvantaged sections of the population.”

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