US Congressmen concerned over Kashmir situation; request briefing from State Department


WASHINGTON: Filled with concerns about the unknown human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K) as the New Delhi regime continues to clamp down on communication and bar foreigners from visiting the besieged valley, the Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia Brad Sherman has asked the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells for a classified briefing on IOJ&K situation.

In his letter dated November 22, Congressman Brad Sherman put a formal request to Alice Wells for the classified briefing from the State Department and Office of the Director of Intelligence to Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and other interested Members of US Congress regarding Kashmir.

Congressman Brad Sherman also voiced dismay over the refusal by the Indian government to the US diplomats to visit Jammu and Kashmir for assessing the ground situation.

His letter was a follow up on the October 22 Hearing of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia on South Asian Human Rights titled “Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region”, in which many Congressmen had admonished the Indian government for its systematic human rights violations in the IOJ&K since August 5.

Meanwhile in his article in New York Daily News published on November 22, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan said that several recent hearings and statements by the US  members of Congress on Kashmir have shown that India’s attempts at normalizing its actions in Kashmir are failing to stand up to scrutiny.

Instead, Ambassador Asad Majeed wrote, “a clear consensus has emerged. First, that what is happening in Kashmir is a serious humanitarian and geopolitical crisis. Second, that Kashmiris have a recognized right to self-determination, and that India is depriving them of this right in contravention of international law. And third, that Kashmir is not an internal Indian matter but is instead an internationally recognized conflict that needs to be resolved”.

Taking exception to India’s usual mud-slinging on Pakistan for its failure to normalize the situation in Kashmir, the Ambassador said that Pakistan does not want to be dragged into a manufactured confrontation with India. He said that we have continued to show restraint but Pakistan will respond if its sovereignty is violated.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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