It will be a packed week for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US starting Saturday: Two meetings with President Trump, nearly 20 other bilaterals, and his big UN General Assembly speech on Friday September 27. India is clear, however, that despite the international focus on Kashmir, it will not be on PM Modi's agenda and any offer of mediation is off the table.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters today: "Article 370 is an internal issue. Terrorism is one among many issues. The focus will be on India's role at global stage, the Prime Minister will present his vision in this regard."
PM Modi's schedule includes a meeting with American CEOs of energy giants on the evening of September 21 in Houston, Texas. On September 22, there is the big "Howdy Modi" community event, where he shares stage with US President Donald Trump in front of 50,000 Indian Americans. Senior Democrat lawmakers will also be there.
On September 23, the Prime Minister takes part in a climate summit in New York. The big bilateral meeting with President Trump is on September 24 and an investment roundtable with 40 major companies the next day.
On the morning of September 27, local time, PM Modi will address the UN General Assembly, after which he leaves for Delhi. His address will be followed by his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan.
While India has support from the US and other major powers on ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under the Constitution's Article 370, the lockdown in Kashmir is attracting criticism, the European Union has said.
"While some of the restrictions are reportedly lifted, the situation has not returned to normal. There have been arrests of political leaders, activists and human rights defenders... stress the importance of steps to restore the rights and freedoms of the population in Kashmir," the European Union has said.
The UN Secretary General too said human rights must be fully respected in Kashmir, but that it was for India and Pakistan to talk, not for the UN to step in.
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