NEW DELHI - The Trump administration remained concerned about the ongoing crackdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the restive Himalayan region stripped of its special constitutional status in August, but supports India’s development “objectives” there, a US diplomat said in a statement Tuesday ahead of a congressional hearing in Washington.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells said the US State Department has encouraged India to restore phone and internet access and release detainees in the region.  The US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation met Tuesday. Chairman Rep Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, has said the focus was on Kashmir, where life has been disrupted for nearly 8 million people.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about human rights in Kashmir in recent months. Earlier this month, Democratic Senator Chris van Hollen told reporters in Delhi that he and other members of a US delegation to India were not blocked by the Indian government from visiting Kashmir.

In the statement, Wells also said that direct dialogue between India and Pakistan held the most potential for reducing regional tensions.

Wells called out Pakistan for its “continued support of extremist groups that engage in cross-border terrorism.”

The House hearing on Tuesday also took up a citizen registry effort in northeast India that has placed the legal status of about two million people in limbo, as well as human rights issues in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, according to Sherman’s office.