The United States has sought from India a “roadmap” to political and economic normalcy in Kashmir and immediate release of all political detainees as it asked Pakistan to take “sustained and irreversible” steps against terrorists in its territory.
Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians of Jammu and Kashmir have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest in view of the Centre’s decision to revoke special status to Jammu and Kashmir and splitting the state into two Union Territories.
“We continue to press for the release of detainees for the full restoration of everyday services, but most importantly, for roadmap to the restoration of political and economic normalcy,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells.
The US remains “deeply concerned” about the situation in the Valley where daily life of nearly eight million residents has been severely impacted since the decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and to “detain without charge” political leaders and restrict communications, Wells said in an interaction with reporters at Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.
“We’ve seen progress for example four million postpaid mobile phone users have had service restored, but SMS and internet is restricted,” she said.