The External Affairs Ministry has refused to comment on the U.S. House resolution on Jammu and Kashmir introduced by Indian-American lawmaker Pramila Jayapal , even as the government stepped up efforts to ensure that the resolution is not passed, with officials reaching out to Congressmen and women as well as the Indian diaspora to mobilise support.
Sources said India is also hopeful that U.S. House members of the India caucus will move the process in their favour, while former diplomats said the larger fallout of the resolution was in the optics, not in its substance.
“I think [the resolution] has a lot of sensation value, because while a motion on human rights in the U.S. House or Senate is not uncommon, but one tabled by a person of Indian origin is rare, and countries like Pakistan will use this for their propaganda purposes,” said former Ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansingh.
“I think we have enough support on Capitol Hill for this resolution not to see light of day this time around as well,” Mr. Mansingh added. According to other diplomats, the introduction of the resolution (H.Res 745) is a concern because it is among the first such resolutions criticising the Indian government for restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir since 2000.
However, officials dismissed those concerns and the fact that the current resolution has been introduced by a Republican representative Steve Watkins, and Ms. Jayapal, a Democrat, and said the resolution had “limited resonance” and would not be endorsed by many.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday tweeted that it was a ‘shame’ that Parliament was yet to discuss the situation in Kashmir while two United States lawmakers moved a bipartisan resolution in the House.
Mr. Tharoor’s tweet, however, triggered a war of words, with BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje accusing the Congress Lok Sabha member of ‘defaming the country by admiring the U.S. move’.
(With inputs from Sandeep Phukan)