WASHINGTON: The state department has described the recent visit of envoys of 15 countries, including that of the US, to Jammu & Kashmir as an “important step” but expressed concern over the continued detention of politicians and restrictions on internet in the region.
In the trip by foreign diplomats after August 5, envoys of 15 countries, including the US ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, last week visited Jammu & Kashmir where they interacted with select political representatives, civil society members as well as top military brass. Principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs Alice Wells, who will be travelling to South Asia this week, on Saturday expressed hope that the region will return to normalcy.
“Closely following @USAmbIndia & other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to J&K. Important step. We remain concerned by detention of politicians and residents, and internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy,” she tweeted. Wells will travel to New Delhi from January 15-18 to attend the Raisina Dialogue.
She will also meet with senior government officials to advance the US-India strategic global partnership following the success of the 2019 US-India 2+2 ministerial dialogue, and will discuss topics of mutual interest with members of the business community and civil society. From New Delhi, Wells will fly to Islamabad where she will meet with Pakistan’s top officials and members of civil society to discuss issues of bilateral and regional concern. Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Reacting sharply to India’s decision, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian high commissioner.





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