October 22, 2019
US Congressional sub-committee discusses Occupied Kashmir
WASHINGTON: The United States House Foreign Affairs sub-committee discussed human rights issues in Occupied Kashmir and the situation in the Muslim majority region that has emerged after New Delhi scrapped its special status.
The hearing on Kashmir by United States House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Asia, the Pacific and Non-proliferation, a sub-committee within the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was convened by Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of the panel.
The chairman said that the hearing will focus on the occupied valley where thousands of people had been detained ever since India revoked Article 370.
“Many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet, and telephone communications have been interrupted,” said Sherman in a statement. He said that food, medicine and other essentials will also be reviewed in the hearing.
The hearing was attended by lawmakers including Elliot Engel, Rep Jim Costa, Rep Anthony Brown,Rep Karen Bass, Rep Ilhan Omar, Rep Mike Levin, Rep Tom Malinowski, Rep Ro Khanna, Rep Krishna Murti, Rep Gil Cisnero, Rep Ruben Gallego , Rep TJ Cox, Rep Judy Chu, Rep Jed Van Drew, Rep Tony Cardenas, Rep Jaypal,Rep Alan Loventhal, Rep Ted Lieu.
Attendees exchanged views on the human rights violations in the occupied valley.
“We expressed our concerns regarding Kashmir to India,” said US diplomat Alice Wells. “We are closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir.”
Alice Wells stated that three former chief ministers of occupied Kashmir had also been arrested.
“We will keep on pressurizing India to lift the communications blockade,” she said.
Wells said that in a span of two to three months, several thousand people had been arrested.
The significance of the hearing has increased manifold after Prime Minister Khan delivered a passionate speech at the United Nations a few weeks ago, highlighting the plight of the people of occupied Kashmir.
Kashmiris affected by the communications blockade appeared before the panel to expose the abuse of human rights being carried out in the occupied valley.