Indian FM calls off meeting with US lawmakers

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Criticisim over Kashmir

DM Monitoring
WASHINGTON D.C.: Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has canceled a meeting with senior members of the United States’ Congress this week over Kashmir criticisms, reported Washington Post on Friday.
According to the report, US lawmakers had refused demands to exclude from the meeting a congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, who had criticised the Indian government’s actions and policies in the occupied valley.
In a recent bipartisan resolution moved in the US Congress jointly by Congresswoman Jayapal, a Democrat, and Congressman Steve Watkins, a Republican, had urged India to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in occupied Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents.
Born in Madras (Chennai), Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the US House of Representatives. In response to the abrupt cancellation, Jayapal said: “The cancellation of the meeting was deeply disturbing. It only furthers the idea that the Indian government isn’t willing to listen to any dissent at all.”
During his visit to Washington, the Indian external affairs minister was slated to meet the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Representative Elliot L Engel, the committee’s top Republican Rep Michael McCaul and others, the report added.
India has placed missile launchers in occupied Kashmir, UN told Civilian and military leadership on Thursday cautioned the world community about India’s aggressive and provocative design after New Delhi deployed missile launchers along the Line of Control in the Kashmir Valley.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had written to the United Nations recently, warning the world body of actions by New Delhi such as positioning missile launchers in the occupied valley.
In the letter, Qureshi says he fears India plans to launch an attack on Pakistan to divert international attention from human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
“These are Indian actions that continue to escalate tensions in an already tense environment in South Asia,” he said, demanding the UN respond to the purported moves by India.
China, earlier this week, during a closed-door meeting of the Security Council drew the attention of the members towards the letter written by the foreign minister expressing concern on the escalating situation at the LoC and asked for a brief from the UN military observers.
It was expected that the ongoing situation in occupied Kashmir will also be discussed in the session. The briefing was meant to be given by the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan on Wednesday but was delayed after the global body’s officials said that they were not ready for it.