The situation in Jammu and Kashmir and trade are high on the agenda as Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump today on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in France. Mr Trump has spoken about “mediating” on Jammu and Kashmir and has described the issue as “explosive”.
While Washington sees the issue of Article 370 as India’s internal issue, the restrictions, arrests of hundreds of politicians and alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir will come up when PM Modi and Mr Trump meet.
“The President will likely want to hear from Prime Minister Modi how he plans to reduce regional tensions and uphold respect for human rights for Kashmir, as part of India’s role as the world’s largest democracy,” a senior US administration official said.
“The President is likely to stress the need for dialogue among all sides of the conflict and his hope that India would lift the communications and movement restrictions in Kashmir and exercise the utmost restraint in dealing with potential protests,” the official said.
Mr Trump has also asked Pakistan to “crack down on groups on its territory that have attacked India in the past”, senior US administration officials said.
Last week, Mr Trump for the second time offered to mediate on Kashmir, after phone calls with both PM Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have Hindus and you have the Muslims and I wouldn’t say they get along so great,” Mr Trump told reporters in the White House. “I will do the best I can to mediate,” he said. “…you have two counties that haven’t gotten along well for a long time and frankly, it’s a very explosive situation,” he added.
Pakistan’s attempts to create a stir in the United Nations Security Council over Kashmir fell flat after most of the participating nations agreed that scrapping of special status was a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad. The meeting of the 15 nations – five permanent members and 10 rotating members – ended without any resolution.
Restrictions are still in place at several parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Thousands of troops are regularly patrolling the streets of the state. Phone lines and mobile internet have not been restored. Landlines are also only partially working.
On trade, Mr Trump’s discussions with PM Modi are likely to focus on import duties. In May, the US ended India’s designation as a beneficiary nation under a key preferential trade programme, which India said was “unfortunate”. The Generalised System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.
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Kashmir, Trade To Dominate PM-Trump Talks In France Today – NDTV News