US senators slam Indian foreign minister over cancelling meeting

US senators slams Indian foreign minister over cancelling meeting
WASHINGTON: US senators on Monday have protested against Indian foreign minister and said that “It’s wrong for any foreign government to tell Congress what members are allowed in meetings on Capitol Hill.”
Congresswoman Jayapal and senator Harris, who dropped out of the Democratic presidential race early this month, both have an Indian background. Senator Harris’s mother was from Chennai while Ms Jayapal was born there in India.

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Yet, Mr Jaishankar refused to meet Ms Jayapal when the Indian Embassy arranged a meeting for him with the house foreign affairs committee in Washington earlier this week to share India’s views on Kashmir with the members.

Ms Jayapal, who is a member of the panel’s subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, rejects the Indian position on Kashmir and accuses New Delhi of committing gross human rights violations in the occupied valley. She also criticized India’s new citizenship law because she believes it discriminates against Muslims.
Recently, Ms Jayapal moved a resolution in Congress urging India to end restrictions on communications and mass detentions in the occupied Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents.

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According to US media reports, when informed that Ms Jayapal would also attend the meeting, Indian foreign minister Mr. Jaishankar asked his aides to ensure that she is kept out. He was particularly upset with Ms Jayapal for sponsoring the resolution that condemned India’s crackdown in Kashmir.

But when Mr Jaishankar’s emissaries contacted Congressman Eliot Engel, chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, to remove Ms. Jayapal from the list. Mr Engel refused, and the meeting was canceled. Mr. Jaishankar, who was in Washington for US-India strategic dialogue, however, defended his stance.

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