India’s Ambassador to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla defended India’s move to revoke special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and said sections of the American media had pushed forward a perspective that is “inimical” to New Delhi’s interest, PTI reported on Wednesday.
On August 5, the Centre had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of Constitution, and split the state into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Shringla said it was done for the “benefit” of the people of the region. He called Article 370 an “anachronistic provision” that was “stifling the economy and encouraging the inflow of Pakistani terrorism”.
“Unfortunately, some of the media in the United States – particularly the liberal media – have, for reasons of their own, chosen not to provide this perspective, which is very important,” Shringla said. “Instead [they have] focused on a perspective that has been pushed forward by those who are inimical to our interest.”
The envoy said the Indian embassy in United States has started a massive outreach to the members of the Congress, senators and the think-tank community about the factual positions on India on its Kashmir decision.
He said the changes brought about by the Centre were in the interests of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. “It will help them get rights that have been denied to them for many decades,” Shringla said. “That is the point of view that we are trying to bring across.” He had posted a video on YouTube last week to reflect on the “real reasons” for changes in the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“As we go along, this perspective – with the restoration of services, more than 90% of Jammu and Kashmir being free of any restrictions without any violence, without any shot being fired – are important signals to the international community that a lot is being done in a manner that is in the best interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the envoy said.
On Tuesday, a team of Indian diplomats addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva to explain New Delhi’s position on Jammu and Kashmir. They had said Pakistan was trying to polarise the rights body to advance its agenda in South Asia.
Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Vijay Thakur had said the Pakistan delegation had given a commentary with false allegations and concocted charges against India. “World is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from epicentre of global terrorism, where ring leaders were sheltered for years,” she had said. India stressed about its free media, vibrant civil society and institutional framework that upholds human rights in the country.
India and Pakistan have witnessed a massive escalation in tension ever since Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked. Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India for Kashmir since Independence, downgraded diplomatic ties and suspended trade.
United States President Donald Trump, on Monday, reiterated his offer to help India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir dispute. He had offered to mediate in the Kashmir matter two other times.
India has reached out to 47 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to gain support for its stand on Kashmir. Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said most countries viewed the Kashmir matter the same way.
Last month, Pakistan’s efforts for an international intervention in the Kashmir dispute also led to a rare closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council. This was the first time in over 50 years that the UN Security Council had a meeting exclusively to discuss the Kashmir matter, but it ended without any outcome.
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