Exclusive: Has Donald Trump started his mission Kashmir?

Lisa Curtis was on a 3-day visit to Kashmir during which she held detailed discussions with some well-meaning voices including CM Mehbooba Mufti

Within days of Donald Trump having assumed office as the US President, Lisa Curtis, a prominent researcher close to the ruling-Republicans visited restive Jammu and Kashmir, something which hints at a possible American intervention on the vexed K-issue.

InUth has learnt from highly placed sources that Curtis was on a 3-day visit to the state from January 22, during which she held detailed discussions with some well-meaning voices including Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh and General Officer Commanding 15 Corps Lt Gen JS Sandhu. The government seems to have kept the high-profile visit a secret, unlike all other developments that are publicised by the Information Department.

During her 2-day stay in the winter capital of Jammu, Curtis, who has previously worked with secret services in the US, is understood to have spent most of her time taking feedback on the “impact of ceasefire violation along the Indo-Pakistan borders.”

“She was very serious to note down fallouts of shelling from the Pakistani side and also took brief about Jehadis and other radical elements infiltrating into J&K,” a senior official privy to her visit said.

During her day-long stay in Kashmir, she is understood to have met “prominent faces of the civil society” and was briefed about the ground situation. She inquired about the “fallouts” of the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. Sources said she also held detailed discussions with Kashmir’s head priest and Chairman Hurriyat M Mirwaiz Dr Umar Farooq at his Nigeen residence.

A keen researcher on South Asian affairs, Curtis is known for her interest in Kashmir-issue. She is believed to have acted as a “negotiator” between India and Pakistan over the kidnapping of six Western tourists by militant outfit Al Faran in 1995.

Presently a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, she lobbied for Trump’s success and was part of the “transition team”. Before joining the Heritage Foundation in August 2006, Curtis worked for the US government on South Asian issues for 16 years. From 2001 to 2003, she was the White House-appointed senior adviser to the assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, where she helped develop policy to manage Indo-Pakistani tensions. Prior to that, she worked as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency and, in the mid-1990s, served as a diplomat in the US embassies in Pakistan and India.