After her meeting with Pakistan leaders and a visit to Pakistan-administered Kashmir, US Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan called upon both Islamabad and New Delhi to take urgent steps to de-escalate tensions in the Kashmir region.
We also visited Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Amid escalating tensions in Kashmir, it’s critical that we find ways to help de-escalate the situation on both sides. I’m now traveling to India where I'll meet officials to further discuss the situation and international trade.— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) October 10, 2019
Hassan met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. She said in a Tweet that she discussed counterterrorism and regional stability with Pakistani leaders.
This week, I was also in Pakistan, where I met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss our countries’ joint counterterrorism work and regional stability. pic.twitter.com/P6lA8RF0JS— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) October 10, 2019
She also visited Afghanistan, where she met President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah, among other government officials.
I also met with President @ashrafghani, CEO and presidential candidate @DrabdullahCE, and top government officials with my colleague Senator @ChrisVanHollen.— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) October 10, 2019
We heard firsthand about the peace process and efforts to stabilize the country and region. pic.twitter.com/korbq74CKk
In Afghanistan, I also ran into a friendly face from the Granite State – Colonel Gabe Barton from Windham. pic.twitter.com/xCBqjlqpte— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) October 10, 2019
My top priority is keeping Americans safe.— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) October 10, 2019
I was briefed by General Austin Scott Miller, our top general in Afghanistan, about the security situation and ongoing efforts to disrupt terrorist activity and train Afghan personnel in counterterrorism tactics. pic.twitter.com/RP3LA0IA8q
Hassan said she met government and military leaders of Afghanistan, US troops and embassy personnel during her visit. "We discussed topics critical to our nation's security, including counterterrorism efforts, drug trafficking and regional stability," she said in a Tweet.
Long-existing tensions between India and Pakistan dramatically escalated in February when a suicide bomber from the Pakistan-based group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), attacked a convoy of troops in Kashmir's Pulwama. Forty Indian soldiers were killed in the attack, and in retaliation, the Indian Air Force carried out an aerial strike at an alleged JeM camp in Pakistan's Balakot.
Relations between the two traditional foes were further strained when New Delhi stripped the restive Jammu and Kashmir state of its special status in early August. Islamabad, which also claims to be a stakeholder in Kashmir, launched a diplomatic offensive against New Delhi.