US Fully Behind India on Kashmir: Envoy

India’s ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringl – File Pic

WASHINGTON – Noting that India has received the “fullest” support from America on Kashmir, Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that New Delhi is happy that the Trump administration has taken a “very very understanding view” on the issue.

Shringla made the remarks during a programme to celebrate Diwali at his residence on Friday.

The event was attended by eminent Indian Americans, several senior members of the Trump administration and members of the diplomatic corps.

We are very happy that we have that understanding and support from our friends in the US Administration, Shringla said.

This is the new paradigm, which has never been attempted before. This bold and courageous step has never been attempted before. We are very happy to see and I must say that we have received the fullest support apart from our friends and particularly from the United States, Shringla said on India’s move to revoke the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

It pertains to the Constitutional amendments in India. It is an internal matter and something that is intended to bring about change for the better, he said, adding that it will contribute not only to the economic prosperity but also security for the region.

The US Administration has taken a very very understanding view of the issue, he said.

The US had last month said that the onus for Indo-Pak peace talks lies on Islamabad by taking sustained and irreversible actions against terrorist groups.

Reacting sharply to India’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to bring it in line with the rest of the country, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian envoy.

We also have always enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress. We are very proud of the fact that our relationship is based on bipartisan support, Shringla said as he referred to the presence of House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, who represented the Democratic Party in the Howdy Modi event in Houston in September.

More than 50,000 Indian-Americans attended the mega event jointly addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

Shringla also referred to the presence of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an event at the US Library of Congress to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

We would like to preserve that bipartisan spirit. We would like to see all members of Congress understand and appreciate the compulsions under which we are operating; appreciate the efforts of the government and people of India to bring about a change for the positive in Jammu and Kashmir to understand that the changes that have been brought about enjoy the support of the vast majority of people of India,” he said.

The envoy hoped that US lawmakers would also understand and reconcile to the fact that these changes are irreversible, these changes are for the better and these changes would be very important as we go along, even for relations between our two countries, Shringla said.

Jammu and Kashmir transitioned into a union territory from a state on Oct 31 in accordance with the government’s announcement withdrawing the state’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcating it into union territories.

Referring to the new political map of India with these two Union territories, Shringla said, I’m happy to tell you that today, if you look at the map of India for the first time, you see a united and unified map.

Addressing the Indian-Americans on the occasion, he said, that they, as important representatives of the community, would no doubt carry this message wherever they go.


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