Measures taken in Kashmir to ensure peace efforts are not scuttled from across the border: Shringla

WASHINGTON, Sept 4: India took “precautionary and preventative measures” in Kashmir to ensure that the government’s efforts to maintain peace in the Valley are not scuttled by “vested interests” from across the border, the country’s Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.

Shringla made the comments in a podcast on Tuesday and spoke on changing the paradigm in Jammu and Kashmir- from cross-border terrorism and radicalisation to jobs, inclusive development and a hope for peace.

Authorities suspended Internet and mobile services in several areas in Jammu and Kashmir and banned public gatherings in Srinagar district under Section 144, apprehending trouble after the Indian government revoked the special status to the state on August 5.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said internet and phone services have been shut because these are more useful to terrorists and Pakistan for mobilisation of people and indoctrination of youths.

Shringla said that the purpose of his podcast is to bring facts of the matter in front of people.

“Over the past few weeks we have seen a great deal of speculation, some pedalling of half-truths, untruths, factually incorrect information that disseminated in the media, primarily in the US,” he said.

Shringla said that there has been a lot of speculation on the “precautionary and preventative measures” taken by the Indian government in Kashmir to ensure that the law and order situation on the ground is secure.

He said that the reason why these measures were taken was to “ensure that the positive steps of the government should not be scuttled due to incitement and vested interests from across the border.”

Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations and expelled the Indian high commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

Meanwhile, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has sought an end to the rhetoric on Kashmir issue, saying that peaceful dialogue, respect for civil rights and non-violence are the only way forward.

“My prayer for the children and people of India and Pakistan is a future of peace,” Krishnamoorthi, the US Representative for Illinois’ 8th Congressional district, said in a statement.

“In that spirit, heated rhetoric about violence and war over Kashmir should end, and I hope restrictions in Kashmir will be lifted rapidly. Peaceful dialogue, respect for civil rights and nonviolence are the only way forward,” he added. (PTI)