Kashmir: Indian diplomats brief US lawmakers on situation, say reports
They sought answers to various concerns, including the restrictions in place in the state since the beginning of August.
Indian diplomats on Wednesday briefed American lawmakers on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and India’s actions since August 5, when the state’s constitutional status was revoked, PTI reported. It is reportedly the first action of such a kind.
Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and some other Congress members were briefed by India’s Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and his team in a closed-door meeting on the Capitol Hill, which is the seat of the US government. Democrat Ami Bera was the only Indian-American lawmaker at the briefing. They spoke about the restrictions in place in Jammu and Kashmir since the beginning of August and sought answers to various other concerns, the Hindustan Times reported.
Some of the queries that the Congressmen raised were absurd, the reports said. A Democrat allegedly asked if the Indian government was “piping in Hindu music in order to indoctrinate the Muslim population of Kashmir”.
The meeting came days ahead of a congressional hearing on South Asia on October 22, which is expected to focus on the Kashmir situation.
The government had imposed restrictions on public movement and communications in Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, a day before it revoked the state’s special constitutional status and split it into two Union Territories. The administration said the restrictions were important to prevent law and order problems and curb terrorist activity. Restrictions were lifted from Jammu and Ladakh regions within a few weeks, but daily activity remains affected in parts of Kashmir.