US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster and envoys from 15 other countries arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday (Photo Credit: File Photo: PTI)
The US State Department on Saturday expressed concern over the continued detention of political leaders and restrictions on internet in Jammu and Kashmir. The restrictions were imposed on August 5 last year when India’s central government had announced the abrogation of the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under the Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.
The twitter handle of US State Department’s bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) said that it was closely following the visit of US Ambassador to India Keneth Juster and other foreign envoys’ visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The bureau, on behalf of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, who will be travelling to South Asia next week, expressed hope for return of normalcy.
“Closely following USAmbIndia and other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to Jammu and Kashmir. Important step,” the bureau of SCA said in a tweet.
“We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and Internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy. AGW,” it said in the tweet.
US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster and envoys from 15 other countries arrived on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, the first visit by diplomats since August last year when the state’s special status was revoked and it was downsized to a union territory. The Delhi-based envoys, who came here on a special chartered flight, landed at Srinagar’s technical airport and were taken directly to the army cantonment for a briefing. Top officials from the newly carved out union territory of Jammu and Kashmir received the delegation, which will be going to Jammu later in the day and stay the night there.
The envoys, who are here as part of the government’s diplomatic outreach to rebut Pakistan’s propaganda on the Kashmir issue, will meet Lt Governor G C Murmu as well as civil society members and receive briefings on the security situation from various agencies, officials said. Besides the US, the delegation includes diplomats from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Norway, Maldives, South Korea, Morocco, and Nigeria. They return to Delhi on Friday.