Deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir: Bernie Sandershttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/bernie-sanders-jammu-kashmir-us-india-article-370-5955691/

Deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir: Bernie Sanders

The 77-year-old US Senator also said that India's action in Kashmir is 'unacceptable' and that the communication blockade prevailing in the state must be lifted immediately.

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US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. (Reuters)

United States senator and presidential contender Bernie Sanders Sunday said that he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Calling India’s actions “unacceptable”, the 77-year-old US Senator said that the communication blockade in the state must be immediately lifted. Sanders also urged the US government to “speak out boldly” in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution in Kashmir.

“India’s action (in Kashmir) is unacceptable and the communications blockade must be lifted immediately, and the US government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian life and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution,” Sanders said while addressing a gathering at the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) Convention in Houston.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been under lockdown since the Indian government revoked the provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to the state.

The US Senator also said that the crackdown “in name of security” acts as a barrier for the public to get access to medical care. “Many doctors in India have acknowledged that the Indian government restrictions on travel are threatening the life-saving care that patients need,” Sanders said.

US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders attends the Islamic Society of North America’s Convention in Houston, Texas, US August 31, 2019. (Reuters)

Sanders remarks come days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump discussed Kashmir on the sidelines of the G7 summit at Biarritz in France.  Modi had told Trump that all issues between India and Pakistan were bilateral and there was no scope for any third-party mediation.

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“All issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral. Don’t want to give pain to any third country. We can discuss and resolve all issues bilaterally,” PM Modi had said earlier.

India has also strongly maintained that the abrogation of Article 370 provisions in Kashmir is its internal matter.