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Modi Has Made India's Position Clear, Says US on Mediation Offer. But Wants 'Rapid' Easing of Kashmir Restrictions

A senior US State Department official for South Asia Alice Wells also added that President Donald Trump was willing to mediate on the Kashmir issue if asked by both India and Pakistan.


Updated:September 27, 2019, 9:02 AM IST
Modi Has Made India's Position Clear, Says US on Mediation Offer. But Wants 'Rapid' Easing of Kashmir Restrictions
President Donald Trump meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. (Image: AP)

United Nations: The United States said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made his position clear on Kashmir, but wants New Delhi to quickly ease restrictions in the state.

"I think Prime Minister Modi has made clear his position that he’s not seeking mediation. I think what we would like to see are the conditions whereby India and Pakistan can have a constructive conversation that leads to an improvement of relations between the two nuclear powers," said Alice Wells, the top State Department official for South Asia.

"We hope to see rapid action — the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained," she told reporters on Thursday.

She also said that Trump "is willing to mediate if asked by both parties" — although she noted that India has long rejected any outside role.

"The United States is concerned by widespread detentions, including those of politicians and business leaders, and the restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir," she said.

"We look forward to the Indian government's resumption of political engagement with local leaders and the scheduling of the promised elections at the earliest opportunity," she said.

She further added, "President Trump has a strong relationship with both Imran Khan and Narendra Modi. The world would benefit from reduced tension and increased dialogue between the two. US concerned about widespread detentions in Kashmir. We hope Indian government will resume engagement with Kashmir leaders."

"PM Modi made a commitment that recent changes will improve lives of Kashmiri people, we look to him to uphold that promise," she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August revoked the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian authorities detained a wide range of political leaders and snapped off cellular and internet service for ordinary people in much of the Himalayan region.

Wells said the United States has raised concerns on Kashmir "at the highest levels," without saying if Trump brought up Kashmir with Modi.

Trump on Sunday joined Modi in a joint rally of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston, with the two heaping praise on each other.

Trump also heard concerns on Kashmir from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan.

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