Jammu and Kashmir: Co-chair of US Senate India Caucus says he is disturbed by the restrictions
Mark Warner said he hoped India will ‘live up to its democratic principles’ by removing curbs on media freedom, information, and political participation.
Democratic Party Senator Mark Warner, a co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, on Tuesday raised concerns about the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after India revoked the state’s special status. Warner said that he was disturbed by the imposition of “restrictions on communications and movement”, but acknowledged India’s “legitimate security concerns”.
“I hope India will live up to its democratic principles by allowing freedom of press, information, and political participation,” Warner tweeted. The US senator had also tagged a report in The New York Times on the availability of healthcare facilities in Jammu and Kashmir after the lockdown.
Warner and United States Senator for Texas John Cornyn are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus at present. It is a bipartisan coalition that encourages ties between the United States and India on strategic interests, including matters such as terrorism, promoting democracy, human rights, and economic development, among other things.
Warner’s statement is significant as he has served as co-chair of the country-specific caucus for several years now. He has also co-authored many important India-centric laws in the Senate, according to PTI.
On Sunday, Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said that she was worried about the situation in Kashmir. Her fellow Democrat contender, Bernie Sanders, has also made similar remarks in recent weeks.
Sanders had said at a public meeting on August 31 that India’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir after revoking its special constitutional status were “unacceptable”, and that he was deeply concerned about the situation in the Valley. Last week, another Democratic Party Senator, Chris Van Hollen, had claimed that he was denied permission by India to visit Kashmir to see the situation “first-hand”.
India has defended its actions in Kashmir, and maintained that the state’s situation was an internal matter. The government continues to dismiss criticisms about the human rights situation in the state.
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