India’s envoy counters growing criticism of Modi government crackdown in Kashmir

India's ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

Addressing the growing media criticism of India’s crackdown in Kashmir, India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, told the Press Trust of India on Sept. 10 that some sections of the American media, especially the liberal media, is focused on a perspective on Kashmir that has being "pushed forward" by those who are "inimical" to India's interest.

He argued that New Delhi's move to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month and bifurcate it into Union territories was done for the "benefit" of the people, and described Article 370 that provided special status to Kashmir as an "anachronistic provision" that was "stifling the economy and encouraging the inflow of Pakistani terrorism.”

"Unfortunately, some of the media in the United States -- particularly the liberal media -- have, for reasons of their own, chosen not to provide this perspective, which is very important," Shringla said. "Instead (they have) focused on a perspective that has been pushed forward by those who are inimical to our interest."

The Ambassador said he and the Indian Embassy here had started a massive outreach to the members of the Congress, senators and the think-tank community about the factual positions on India in that the recent changes in Kashmir would bring change for the better and in the interests of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and help them get rights that have been "denied to them for many decades".

"That is the point of view that we are trying to bring across," said Shringla, who earlier had posted lengthy video on YouTube to reflect on the "real reasons" for changes in the status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"As we go along, this perspective -- with the restoration of services, more than 90 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir being free of any restrictions without any violence, without any shot being fired -- are important signals to the international community that a lot is being done in a manner that is in the best interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Shringla in his Sept. 3 YouTube video had bemoaned that “over the past few weeks we have seen a great deal of speculation, some pedaling of half-truths, untruths, factually incorrect information that disseminated in the media, primarily in the US.”

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