Top Democratic Senator Kamala Harris on Friday came out in support of her fellow Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, with whom External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar refused to meet. on Friday, S Jaishankar 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’.
Harris, who dropped out of the Democratic presidential race early this month in a tweet said, “It’s wrong for any foreign government to tell Congress what members are allowed in meetings on Capitol Hill.”
The first US Senator of Indian origin, Harris said she stands with Jayapal.
“I’m glad her colleagues in the House did too,” she said responding to a news report in The Washington Post which said that Jaishankar refused to attend a meeting of House Foreign Affairs Committee, because Jayapal was also scheduled to be present in that meeting along with other lawmakers.
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 which were imposed following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.