Biden to Reverse Some Trump Policies Upon Taking Office

No Significant Change Expected in South Asia

NEW YORK, Nov 08 (APP): US President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue executive orders reversing a number of President Donald Trump’s policies, including the Muslim travel ban, as soon as he takes office, a leading American newspaper reported Sunday.

That report in The Washington Post comes hours after Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. In his passionate victory speech, Biden vowed “to make America respected around the world again”, obviously Trump’s strong-arm tactics that created tensions with US allies in mind.

Some analysts here believe that Biden’s moves and pronouncements could mark the beginning of a shift in America’s attitude toward the world. But a veteran expert on South Asia at the United Nations was cautious in his assessment of the new developments.

“Under a Biden Presidency, the strategic parameters in South Asia may not change significantly”, the expert, who declined to be named, said in an interview with APP correspondent. “US-China tensions may moderate, but US will continue to build a strategic partnership with India to counter China”, he said. “However,” the expert added, “it (Biden administration) may be more sensitive on the Modi government’s grave human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir and against India’s Muslim population.”

“There will be other changes: possible revival of the Iran nuclear agreement, an erosion in relations with Saudi Arabia and some adjustments in US Afghan policy”, he predicted.

Giving details of Biden’s move to undo some Trump’s policies, The Washington Post said that he plans to rejoin the Paris climate accords, which the US officially left on Wednesday. He’s also reportedly planning to reverse the US’s withdrawal from the World Health Organisation, which is slated to take effect July 6, 2021. Biden also wants to immediately repeal the ban on immigration that targeted many Muslim-majority countries and reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, according to the Post.

During his campaign, Biden pledged to take action on all of these issues on his first day in office. As regards Biden, he knows South Asia well, having visited the region as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Vice President under the Obama administration. Ahead of the the presidential elections, Biden highlighted India’s repression in occupied Jammu and Kashmir in his party’s policy paper, with a call on New Delhi to take necessary steps to restore the rights of Kashmiri people.

The paper, entitled ‘Joe Biden’s agenda for the Muslim American communities’, released in June, read, “In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. “Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weaken democracy.” It added, “These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”

India annexed Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international law, bifurcating the region into Union territories. The move plunged the disputed Kashmir region into a virtual blackout after communication and internet services were cutoff, political leaders, activists and even children were detained, health infrastructure came to a halt, journalists were barred from reporting and all civil liberties were suspended.

The Indian government has also denied access to all UN and non-UN humanitarian agencies and civil society organisations.

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