How should India approach Donald Trump's state visit?

Delhi Feb 21, 2020, 08.22 PM(IST) Written By: WION

File photo: US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Ahead of Donald Trump's India visit, 4 American lawmakers have written to the US Secretary Mike Pompeo - speaking out against the CAA & the situation in Kashmir. 

US President Donald Trump will land in India on Monday. 

He is preparing to contest the next election in a few months and any diplomatic move, state visit or global engagement is now being closely watched at home.

Also, around the world, all eyes will be on the Modi- Trump meet. In short, this is a big event and some vested groups want to ride this event and make a nuisance.

Four American lawmakers have written to US Secretary of State - Mike Pompeo. They want Trump to take a stand against the shutdown in Kashmir, and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The letter claims that the rights of certain religious minorities and the secular character of the Indian state are under threat. The lawmakers describe the events in Jammu and Kashmir as troubling.

They have asked Mike Pompeo for assessments on a few points: 

The number of political detainees in Kashmir and whether they have been subjected to torture or not. Restrictions on the Internet and mobile service, access for foreign diplomats, journalists and observers.

They also want to know if the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would render anyone stateless. And, they are demanding specific numbers.
 
These are leaders from both sides of the aisle, a group of bipartisan lawmakers - Chris Van Hollen and Richard Durbin are from the democratic party; Todd Young and Lindsey Graham from the Republican Party. Graham is the same lawmaker who was recently rebuffed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Other lawmakers too are using the opportunity to mount pressure on Trump, Ami Bera is one of them. He is an influential lawmaker - who has expressed concern over India's new Citizenship Law and the situation in Kashmir. George Holding - a Republican lawmaker has also spoken out. They all want Trump to say something on both the issues.

So far, the United States has stood by India, at the same time, Trump has made repeated offers of mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. However, it's not certain if Trump plans to bring up Kashmir or CAA while he is in India.

What will most certainly figure in the talks is trade.