A federal government funding package passed by the US House of Representatives and the Senate has urged the Indian government to "reverse its course in Kashmir." The move came amid mounting pressure and tensions in Kashmir after New Delhi on August 5 announced abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and decided to bifurcate the state into Union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh - hours after Kashmir was placed under a total clampdown.
The bill HR 1865 urges the Indian Government to reverse course in Kashmir, Senator Chris Van Hollen said on the Senate floor on Thursday as the Senators passed the appropriations bill for the year 2020.
Now the two bills, passed by the US House of Representatives and the Senate, have to be consolidated into one before it could be sent to the White House for the President to sign it into a law.
This came after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said he has no interest in meeting US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. He said her report on Kashmir is not a ‘fair understanding of situation in Jammu and Kashmir’ or ‘fair characterization of what the Govt of India is doing’. Jaishankar, who is on visit to US for two-plus-two ministerial level talks, said he has no interest in meeting lawmakers who are neither objective nor open to discussion and have already made up their mind.
“I am aware of that (Congressional) resolution. I don’t think it’s a fair understanding of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, or a fair characterisation of what the government of India is doing. And I have no interest in meeting (Jayapal),” Jaishankar told reporters.
On cancellation of her meeting with Jaishankar, Jayapal was quoted by Washington Post as saying, “This only furthers the idea that the Indian government isn’t willing to listen to any dissent at all. The seriousness of this moment should’ve been a reason for a conversation, not dictating who’s in the meeting, which seems very petty.”
Earlier, Pramila Jayapal brought a resolution urging India to lift all restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir.