US senator denied permission to visit Kashmir, says transparency crucial

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A United States Senator from the Democratic Party has claimed that the Indian authorities denied him permission to visit Kashmir when he expressed his willingness to visit Srinagar to assess the situation on the ground.

US Senator Chris Van Hollen said he wanted to visit Kashmir to see what was happening in Kashmir, but was not given the nod by the Indian government. US Senator Hollen told The Indian Express in an interview that the Indian government told him that it was not the appropriate time to visit Kashmir.

On the purpose of his visit, Van Hollen told the daily he wanted to see the situation on the ground in Kashmir. Hollen alleged that the India government did not want to see what was happening in Kashmir, where communications blackout continues.

“My personal view is that if you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear by allowing visitors to the state,” he was quoted as saying by News Agency.

He was also quoted as saying by The Washington Post that “as the world’s two largest democracies, India and the United States talk a lot about shared values and this was the moment where transparency was important”.

Earlier, United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had taken a step against India in connection to Kashmir when an amendment to an appropriation bill which mentioned restrictions in Kashmir was proposed.

The amendment was proposed by US Senator Van Hollen. In his appeal, Hollen highlighted the crucial India-US ties but also noted the “current humanitarian crisis in Kashmir”. It also asked India to restore communications in Kashmir and release those detained.

Source By Indiatoday

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