US presses India to ‘rapidly’ ease restrictions in occupied Kashmir, seeks lower tensions – World

The United States wants New Delhi to quickly ease the restrictions imposed on occupied Kashmir, a senior US official said Thursday by reiterating President Donald Trump's willingness to mediate to ease tensions between India and Pakistan over the territory.

Trump met separately this week with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who should address the UN General Assembly later today.

Read: Trump says he is ready to mediate in Kashmir if both Pakistan and India want

While Trump has forged a close bond with Modi, joining the Hindu nationalist in a mass demonstration on Sunday in Houston, where the Indian leader boasted of his actions in Kashmir, a senior official said the United States had concerns about repression in the region. .

"We hope to see a quick action: the lifting of restrictions and the release of detainees," Alice Wells, the chief State Department official for South Asia, told reporters.

The region occupied by India has been facing repression since August 5, when the Indian government revoked article 370 of the Indian constitution, stripping it of its special status. The repression has now continued for more than 50 days.

"The United States is concerned about widespread arrests, including those of politicians and business leaders, and restrictions on residents of Jammu and Kashmir," Wells said.

"We hope that the Indian government will resume the political commitment to local leaders and schedule the promised elections as soon as possible."

"The world would benefit from reducing tensions and increasing dialogue between the two countries. [India and Pakistan] and, given these factors, the president is willing to mediate if both parties request it, "he said.

President Trump has repeatedly offered arbitration to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan, despite New Delhi's repeated rejection of his offers. On Wednesday, the president of the United States said he encouraged India and Pakistan to resolve their differences in separate meetings with their prime ministers this week.

"I said, & # 39; Fellas, solve it. Just solve it & # 39;" Trump said.

He first offered to mediate during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran in July.

A "special relationship"

During his time in the United States, Prime Minister Imran denounced Modi, even comparing his ideology with Nazi Germany, as he had previously done.

Wells characterized the Prime Minister's comments as useless and said: "A reduction in rhetoric would be welcome, especially between two nuclear powers."

He also questioned why Prime Minister Imran was not talking about China, which has arrested one million Uighurs and other Turkish-speaking Muslims.

"I would like to see the same level of concern also expressed about Muslims who have been detained in western China, literally in conditions of concentration," he said.

China is an important diplomatic and economic partner of Pakistan. Imran, consulted on the Uyghurs in a group of experts on Monday, declined to comment and said Pakistan had a "special relationship" with China and would only pose problems in private.



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