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How Biden Presidency will affect India-US relations especially with regard to Kashmir?

Trump became the President of the United States announcing that he is a big fan of Hindus and India. These remarks are in sync with the BJP’s agenda. The world witnessed a fully blossomed friendship between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Trump. Modi even expressed his support for Trump for the recent elections.

Joe Biden and his party have a different view, especially for human rights in Kashmir. Last year, when the Central government revoked special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Kamala Harris said that they have to remind the Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world. They are keeping a close watch over the situation and if the situation demands, there is a need to intervene in the matter.

The Biden-Harris campaign agenda states that the Indian government should take all required steps in the J&K to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. Restrictions on peaceful protests or the internet weakens democracy.

However, this all is highly unlikely to change the US’s present stand on Kashmir. Political Scientists point out that the US is in a political crisis which will continue even after Biden officially becomes President.

There are many reasons why any change in US administration might not lead to significant change in foreign policy of the US towards India. First one being that the US needs to find someone who can counter China in the region and India seems like a good contender especially after its standoff with China.

The other reason is that the Indian markets are very important for American companies. The US exported products worth $34 billions last year to India. However, this number is comparatively lower than what China exports to India but nonetheless, this is not a small number.

Even though the US Ministers and President avoid speaking on the Kashmir issue, US Congress may be vocal about it. Even last year under the Presidency of Trump, the House Foreign Affairs Committee criticized Indian representatives over the Kashmir issue. Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal moved a resolution raising questions about the communication blockades in the region.

Another resolution was raised by Rashida Tlaib which criticized India for changing the status of J&K without consulting people in the region. This resolution did not get any significant support in the Congress.

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