US President prospect raises Kashmir issue
Normal life remains affected on 28th day When Rahul speaks, Pak cheers: Amit Shah
Washington: United States Senator and Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders told a gathering of Muslims that he was "deeply concerned" about the situation in Kashmir and asked the US government to "speak out boldly" in support of a United Nations-backed peaceful resolution to resolve the issue.
The 77-year-old leader also sought an immediate end to communications blockade in Kashmir.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik last week 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.
His remarks came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation on Kashmir, saying it was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, a position that was immediately backed by US President Donald Trump who had recently offered to mediate.
In an apparent backtracking from his earlier comments, Trump, while speaking to the media alongside Modi on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in France, said he feels that both India and Pakistan can resolve the Kashmir issue on their own.
Organisers said they invited all presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans, but only Julin Castro and Sanders came.
Normal life remained affected in Kashmir on the 28th consecutive day on Sunday even as restrictions were eased in 11 more police station areas of the valley, officials said.
An army jawan was killed in Pakistan firing along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.
Days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was controversially quoted by Pakistan in a petition to the United Nations, Union Home Minister Amit Shah raised the issue at a public meeting in Dadra and Nagar Haveli's Silvassa.
Amit Shah said that while the entire country supports the centre's move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 and bifurcate it into two Union territories, it is still being opposed by certain political parties.
"The Congress opposed the move to remove Article 370, and whatever statements Rahul Gandhi makes are cheered in Pakistan. Pakistan has included his comments in its plea to the United Nations.
Congress leaders should be ashamed that their statements are being used against India," he said.
India and Pakistan on Sunday had a heated exchange during the South Asian Speakers' Summit in the Maldives after the Pakistani side tried to raise the issue of abrogation of Article 370 provisions on Jammu and Kashmir.