At some stage, there will be elections in Kashmir: Indian Ambassador Shringla

Indian Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla addressing the US-India Friendship Council congressional reception on Capitol Hill.
Indian Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla .

Appearing on Fox, Shringla also said that President Trump’s offer to mediate on Jammu and Kashmir is not on table any longer.

Kashmir continues to gain headlines in the US and world media, and there are discussions on the impact of the issue directly to the people of Kashmir, as well as the relations between India and Pakistan, the neighboring countries that have remained at loggerheads over the issue. But amid the reports of curfews, protests and clamp downs, what the world and especially people in India need to know specifically is what would the future hold for Kashmir.

On Monday, Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla was invited on Fox TV to present his thoughts on the situation.

Shringla, while speaking to Bret Baier, on Special Report, explained the situation and the government’s decision on the region. He also spoke about why President Trump’s mediation offer is not on the table anymore.

The ambassador said there will be elections in Kashmir sometime in the future, giving the people some hope of normalcy.

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While explaining the decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir, Shringla said, “India has re-organized the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, with their legislative assemblies and councils.”

Calling it an administrative decision, Shringla said that it does not in any way impinge on the borders of Jammu and Kashmir and the international line of control and, therefore, it is an internal matter of India.

The envoy said that the decision was taken primarily because, in the past 70 years, the development in the state was hampered because of the special status.

Giving some hope to the people of Kashmir, he said that “the intention is to give some good governance and socio-economic justice to the people of Kashmir.”

On being asked to respond to the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet on Sunday about India following the RSS ideology of Hindu supremacy, Shringla responded, “In India we have 200 million Muslims who live in our country. They comprise 18 percent of our population. This is the second-largest population of Muslims in the world.”

He also informed that Jammu and Kashmir has only 4 million Muslims, which makes just 2 percent of entire Indian Muslim population. He added, “Does PM Imran Khan speak for all Muslims in India? That is not the case.”

On the all-important questions about de-escalating the situation, Shringla said, “We will slowly open up the situation. At some stage, we will have elections. They’ll have their own chief minister. We will ensure that there is massive development assistance.”

Asked why India is not taking the offer of President Trump to mediate, he said that it was not on the table anymore. He said: “President Trump has made it very clear, that his offer to mediate on Jammu and Kashmir, is dependent on both India and Pakistan accepting it. Since India has not accepted the offer of mediation, President Trump has made it clear that it is not on table anymore.”

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