On Kashmir, Jaishankar tells US Senator India will ‘settle it’

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (PTI Photo: Kamal Kishore)

In the wake of concerns by US leaders over the "human rights situation" in Jammu and Kashmir, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Saturday said "do not worry", adding that India would "settle it". Four influential US Senators had written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 12 seeking an assessment of the human rights situation in J&K.

The four signatories were Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young, Richard J Durbin and Lindsey O Graham.

Referring to Kashmir, Graham told Jaishankar he hoped two democracies — in reference to India and Pakistan — "end it differently".

"In India, you are moving forward, you got your problems like we do at home, but you've chosen the democratic path. When it comes to Kashmir, I don't know how it ends, but let's make sure that two democracies will end it differently. If you can prove that concept here, then I think that's probably the best way to sell democracy," Graham said.

To this, Jaishankar responded, "Do not worry, Senator. One democracy will settle it and you know which one."

The two leaders were interacting at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

In their letter, the four Senators had described themselves as “longtime friends of India”. They said “more than six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government unilaterally revoked the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, the government continues to block most Internet in the region”.

“Hundreds of Kashmiris remain in ‘preventive detention’, including key political figures,” they added.

These letter was written days before US President Donald Trump’s visit to India from February 24 to February 25.