Addressing a gathering of Muslim Americans in Houston, US Senator and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders said that he was “deeply concerned” about the undergoing situation in Kashmir. He asked the US government to “speak out boldly” in support of UN-backed peaceful resolution to resolve the issue.
Sanders also sought an immediate end to the communications blockade in J-K.
However, veteran US Army Colonel Lawrence Sellin said that it was not Sanders' independent statement rather it was based on whatever brief he got from his Pakistani-American campaign manager and Muslim activist, Faiz Shakir, reported NDTV.
Sellin, veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan war, took to Twitter to opine that Sanders is not even aware of Kashmir and his statement does not come out naturally but under the influence of Shakir.
Bernie Sanders couldn't find Kashmir on a map if it was colored with a bright blue Crayon. That statement was likely influenced by his Pakistani campaign manager & Muslim activist, Faiz Shakir, who may be aggressively promoting pro-Pakistani positions.https://t.co/zAMeEGomm8— Lawrence Sellin (@LawrenceSellin) September 1, 2019
Bernie Sanders’ remark came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear to US President Donald Trump that issues between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir, are bilateral and New Delhi would not want to "bother" any third country in resolving them. The remark came during the joint press conference with Trump after their meeting on the side-lines of G7 Summit in French city of Biarritz.
Moreover, India has been gaining international support over Kashmir as countries like Russia, Poland, France, UAE have voiced their support for India. Russia has backed Modi government's move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir saying, “Change in the status of the state of J&K and its division into two union territories are carried out within framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India.” On the other hand, Poland made it clear that Kashmir dispute should be solved ‘bilaterally’.