US lawmakers urge Trump to mediate between Pakistan and India

15 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: Key US Senators and Congressmen are now urging President Donald Trump to play a constructive role in helping resolve Kashmir and other underlying disputes between Pakistan and India, reports Dawn.

In a letter they sent to President Trump on Thursday afternoon, Senators Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young, Ben Cardin and Lindsay Graham also expressed concern over the human rights situation in Kashmir and urged him to use his influence to get released the people detained after Aug 5, when India annexed the occupied valley.

“We ask that you call upon Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) Modi to fully restore telecommunications and internet services, lift the lockdown and curfew, and release Kashmiris detained pursuant to India’s revocation of Article 370,” they wrote.

In another letter, Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal another American lawmaker asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press India to immediately end the communications blockade in Kashmir and release those who have been detained.

“We write to express our concern regarding the situation in Kashmir, which has grave implications for democracy, human rights and regional stability,” said the four senators in a letter they sent to President Trump.

“While we support your goal of working with the parties to help find a long-term resolution to the status of Kashmir, we write now to urge you to immediately facilitate an end to the current humanitarian crisis there.”

The signatories, who include one of Mr Trump’s close adviser on South Asian affairs, Senator Graham and the Karachi-born Senator Van Hollen, reminded Mr Trump of his July 22 offer to play a mediatory role in easing India-Pakistan tensions over Kashmir and other issues.

“In keeping with your offer of assistance in July, we believe that US engagement with India will be critical in providing relief for the all of the people of Kashmir,” they wrote. “The United States has a vital role to play in facilitating a resolution to this humanitarian crisis, and we urge you to act swiftly.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan also attended the July 22 White House briefing where Mr Trump announced his intention to mediate and had immediately accepted the offer.