As the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir remains under the communication and movement lockdown, the European Union has expressed its concern over the situation in Kashmir and has said it is important to restore the freedom of movement and normalcy, the bloc’s Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto said today.
The ambassador also said that the visit to Kashmir by the Members of the European Parliament or MEPs was not “an expression of EU’s policy decision.”
“We are concerned about the situation in Kashmir…It is important to restore freedom of movement and normalcy in Kashmir,” Astuto said. Speaking on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, he noted that the principle of equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution and hoped that “it will be upheld.”
On cross-border terrorism, he said Pakistan must take action against terrorists operating from its soil. “India and Pakistan should resolve issues through dialogue,” Astuto said.
The news comes after a bipartisan resolution was introduced in the US House of Representatives asking India to end the restrictions mass detentions in the state, while also acknowledging the challenges India faces from cross-border terrorism.
Resolution number 745 was introduced on Friday by Indian-American Democrat lawmaker Pramila Jayapal, along with Republican lawmaker Steve Watkins.
The US lawmakers said they reject arbitrary detention, use of excessive force against civilians, and suppression of peaceful expression of dissent as proportional responses to security challenges. “…Urges the Government of India to ensure that any actions taken in pursuit of legitimate security priorities respect the human rights of all people and adhere to international human rights law,” the resolution said.
It has been more than four months since local political leaders, including three former chief ministers, were detained in Jammu and Kashmir, following the abrogation of Article 370.