New Delhi: US Senator Maggie Hassan, who recently visited Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), on Thursday called for a de-escalation between India and Pakistan in the wake of tensions between the two sides over the former’s abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Hassan, who is a Senator from New England, is yet another Democrat after Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mark Warner to have spoken publicly on the ongoing situation in Kashmir.
On Thursday, she tweeted, “This week, I was also in Pakistan, where I met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss our countries’ joint counterterrorism work and regional stability.” She added, “We also visited Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Amid escalating tensions in Kashmir, it’s critical that we find ways to help de-escalate the situation on both sides. I’m now travelling to India where I’ll meet officials to further discuss the situation and international trade.”
In Pakistan, the Senator, who earlier this week also visited Afghanistan, met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa. She was accompanied by fellow Democrat Chris van Hollen, who was recently not allowed to enter the Kashmir Valley, where he wanted to go to witness the situation ‘first-hand.’
In an unprecedented move on August 5, the Centre announced that it was abolishing Article 370 of the Constitution, thereby abrogating the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, which, since late July, has been under strict security lockdown.
The region was further bifurcated into separate union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.