The Acting Assistant US Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells on Wednesday welcomed the release of former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, and further urged the Indian government to release all Kashmiri political leaders.
The statement came a day after National Conference vice-president Omar was released after charges of Public Safety Act (PSA) against him were revoked.
Abdullahs were among the host of political leaders taken into detention on August 5, when the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and initiated its bifurcation into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Omar Abdullah spent 232 days in custody.
On a lighter note if anyone wants tips on surviving quarantine or a lock down I have months of experience at my disposal, perhaps a blog is in order.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 24, 2020
The US official also urged the Indian government to fully restore internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We welcome the release of former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Dr Farooq Abdullah. We encourage the release of all Kashmiri political leaders and the full restoration of internet services as the coronavirus fight intensifies,” Wells said.
Omar Abdullah’s father Farooq was also charged under the PSA and released on March 13 after 221 days in detention.
Farooq Abdullah, who is also the NC president, expressed happiness over the revocation of his son’s PSA detention, but said total redemption would not be possible until all political detainees were released. Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti , and former IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal are among many other leaders still under detention.