Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, who is visiting the United States reacted sharply to a report that he had cancelled a meeting with American lawmakers including Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has criticised the government’s Kashmir moves in a resolution.
“I don’t think it (the report) is a fair understanding of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir or a fair characterization of what the government of India is doing. I have no interest in meeting her,” Mr Jaishankar was quoted saying in Washington on Thursday.
“I have an interest in meeting people who are objective and open to discussion but not the people who already made up their minds.”
Pramila Jayapal introduced her resolution earlier this month in the House of Representatives that urged India to lift as swiftly as possible all restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir since the August 5 decision on ending special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
However, the Indian government have defended the continuing restrictions saying they are needed to prevent attempts of troubles in the region.
“The cancellation of this meeting was deeply disturbing. It only furthers the idea that the Indian government isn’t willing to listen to any dissent at all,” Ms Jayapal tweeted.
According to The Washington Post, Indian officials told the committee that Mr Jaishankar would not meet with the lawmakers if the group included Ms Jayapal, who is sponsoring a resolution urging India to lift communications restrictions, restore Internet access and preserve religious freedom. Mr Engel refused, and the Indians pulled out, Ms Jayapal told the Post.