“India has a weak PM.” These were words tweeted by the office of Rahul Gandhi’s handle, attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to raise the H-1B visa issue with the US administration during his last month’s visit to Washington. The tweet also carried a screenshot of another news report by The Hindu on the MEA having no qualms about the US using the term “Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, while designating Hizbul Mujhahideen commander Syed Salahuddin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
With the Trump administration looking to revamp the H-1B visa programme which allows Indian techies to work for US companies, PM Modi was expected to bring up the issue during his meeting with the President. The Hindu, citing a source, reported that the “issue was notable for its absence” during PM Modi’s visit.
“In any case, the H-1B programme is undergoing a legislative review and there’s not much the executive branch can do,” according to The Hindu source.
“India may suffer disproportionately from changes to the H-1B visa regime, but that’s because it had also gained disproportionately from the 25-year old programme that allows U.S. tech companies to import skilled labour for skill sets that aren’t locally available,” the source said.
On the “Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir” issue, MEA last week said: “The use of the term ‘Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir’ merely affirms our position that Syed Salahuddin has been involved in cross-border terrorism in India”.