US asks India to ease restrictions in Kashmir

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The United States wants New Delhi to quickly ease restrictions imposed in Kashmir, a senior official said on Thursday 

This came after President Donald Trump met separately the leaders of India and Pakistan.

President Trump had earlier expressed willingness to mediate to ease tensions between India and Pakistan.

The centre in August scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution, ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and bifurcation of it into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Several political leaders were detained, and mobile internet service was snapped off amid restrictions.

Without revealing whether President Trump brought up Kashmir issue with Modi, Alice Wells, the top State Department official for South Asia told the reporters that the United States has raised concerns on Kashmir at the highest levels.

She further said the US is concerned by widespread detentions, including those of politicians and business leaders, and the restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We hope to see rapid action — the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained,” she added.

On Sunday President Trump joined PM Modi in a joint rally of over 50,000 Indian-Americans at the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston.