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US urges India to lift restrictions in Kashmir

September 28, 2019

The United States has asked India to quickly lift restrictions imposed in Kashmir. US President Donald Trump has once again said he is willing to mediate and ease tensions between India and Pakistan.

Trump met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan separately this week.

We hope to see rapid action -- the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained. The United States is concerned by widespread detentions, including those of politicians and business leaders, and the restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. - Alice Wells, United States Department official

A number of political leaders are still under detention in Kashmir. Some measures have been eased, but internet and cellular service are still cut off in many areas.

The US has said it has raised concerns on Kashmir "at the highest levels". "We look forward to the Indian government's resumption of political engagement with local leaders and the scheduling of the promised elections at the earliest opportunity," said Wells. India continues to refuse outside intervention on Kashmir and rejected Trump's offer to mediate.

Wells has also snubbed Pakistan Pm Khan's comments on Kashmir as unhelpful, saying: "A lowering of rhetoric would be welcome, especially between two nuclear powers". The US has also asked why Khan was not speaking out about China, which has detained one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims.

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