Tue, 21 Jan 2020

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec 11 (ANI): India is hopeful to move in its favour the recent bipartisan resolution on Kashmir tabled in the US Congress by Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. Sources said that the resolution has limited resonance considering the resolution is mere optics and lacks support within the Congress.

After several weeks of efforts, Jayapal introduced in the House of Representatives, the resolution co-sponsored by Republican Steve Watkins, that urges India to lift the communication clampdown, release political detainees and "preserve religious freedom for all residents" in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jayapal's move is a simple resolution that has only been tabled in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and cannot be voted in the other chamber, including the Senate. It does not have the force of law.

Jayapal, in a series of tweets on late Saturday said: "Yesterday, I introduced a bipartisan House Resolution with @Rep_Watkins to urge the Indian government to end restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents."Indian Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Deputy Chief of Mission Amit Kumar and Indian Consul General in San Francisco Sanjay Panda met Jayapal to explain India's position on Kashmir.

She is fully aware that the situation has eased in Kashmir but her views on the region still remain unchanged irrespective of the information and facts brought to her.

"The language she (Jayapal) has used in the resolution does not reflect the changed circumstances in Kashmir, it continues to be trident, factually incorrect and over the top. Clearly the resolution does not constructively engage India to look into the issues raised," a source told ANI.

Jayapal, 54, started her vocal criticism over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir since September 2019, weeks after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5.

The Chennai-born and first-ever "Indian-American" women elected to the House of Representatives, has been one of the few lawmakers, belonging to the Democratic party, and raising their voices against India's move on Jammu and Kashmir.

In the resolution, Jayapal voiced her concerns saying it is based on the feedback from her constituents. However the Indian mission approached the Congresswoman to provide specific names of individuals who could not establish contacts with their relatives in Jammu and Kashmir so that contacts could be facilitated. Eventually, when names were not provided, her attention was drawn to the fact that her constituents were actually from Pakistan, impersonating as Kashmiris.

Congressional experts believe it is a political campaign by Jayapal to prove her credentials among the group of progressive lawmakers.

"The purpose of Pramila's resolution is to gain fame and notoriety within the Democratic Party. She is understood to have told many people taking up an issue against her country of origin is designed to attract greater applause from the left-liberal community and that seems to be the game plan along with US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar " the observer stated.

This move by Pramila has grabbed a lot of sensation value, because it's tabled by a person of Indian origin, clearly enough fodder for Pakistan to use it as propaganda.

"Pakistan's hand in this through Tlaib and Omar is very clear, they are part of the same group. Jayapal is bidding on their behalf but the background of Pakistan's exact support is still unclear," the source added.

Jayapal, a first-time representative from Seattle, belongs to the left-liberal section of the Democratic Party and is keen to make a mark by championing 'human rights issues', observers of India-US relations said. And the House resolution introduced on Friday is one such move.

Sources tell ANI the congresswoman circulated the resolution among her Congressional colleagues some three weeks ago, but struggled to find a co-sponsor. She finally managed to get one co-sponsor - Republican Congressman from Kansas Steve Watkins, thus pegging the resolution 'bipartisan'.

Watkins has been accused of voter fraud and has also allegedly lied about his business interests and sporting achievements, according to reports. Pramila Jayapal is understood to have supported him to clear these, the observers said. (ANI)

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