Alice Wells expressed concern over continued detentions in occupied Kashmir

Ruben Fields
January 13, 2020

The US State Department on Saturday known as the current check out by worldwide envoys of 15 countries to Jammu and Kashmir - under unprecedented limitations since this past year - an "important step" but stated it stayed "concerned" because of the detention of governmental frontrunners and residents, additionally the Internet blackout.

The US government described the diplomatic visit to J&K as an important step and said it continued to be concerned about the detention of political leaders, residents and Internet restrictions in the Union.

"Closely following United States ambassador to India and other foreign diplomats' recent trip to Jammu & Kashmir".

The statement from Wells comes just a few days before she starts a 10-day visit to the region during which she will travel to Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan, from January 13-22. "We look forward to a return to normalcy", Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs tweeted on Saturday night.

Wells is going to be visiting South Asia this week. She is then due to proceed to Islamabad for a similar, three-day visit from January 19 in which regional concerns, as well as the Afghanistan peace process, are slated to be discussed. She will then proceed to Islamabad on a similar, three-day visit that will begin on Jan 19.

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The restrictions were imposed on August 5 past year when India scrapped special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated that into two Union Territories.

Following the revocation, a military curfew and communications blockade had been enforced in the valley and hundreds of thousands of Indian troops deployed to crush dissent. Several political leaders, including two former chief ministers, and thousands others had been arrested.

The diplomats from more than a dozen countries were driven in a motorcade from the airport amid tight security and the areas they visited were also selected by Indian officials.

The Supreme Court had on Friday ordered the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review forthwith all restrictive orders imposed in the Union Territory. The orders cracking down on movement and communication came as the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir's autonomous status. Important step. We remain concerned about the detention of political leaders and residents as well as internet restrictions.

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