Co-chair of the senate of India Caucus, Mark Warner said he is disturbed by restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir and urged the government to allow the freedom of the press, political participation, and information to maintain the democratic principles in the country. Restrictions on Jammu and Kashmir have been imposed when the government had moved to revoke the special status of the state Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union territories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The comment came a day after the House Foreign Affairs Committee had also made a similar statement.
Senator Warner tweeted, India may have some legitimate security concerns but he is disturbed by the restriction the Indian government has imposed on communications and movement in the Kashmir valley.
Warner’s statement is quite significant given his good relation with India inside and outside the senate. Warner, who is currently the Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Vice-Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Warner has been a Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus for the past few years. He has also been a co-author of some of the major India-centric legislation in the senate.
India has many times stated the removal of Article 370 as an internal matter during the past few months. The government has defended the move several times saying that the restrictions on the communication have been imposed to prevent Pakistan’s mischief of using terrorists to disturb the normalcy of the state.
With his statements, Warner became one of many US lawmakers who have urged to remove the two-month-old communication clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir.