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Kashmir restrictions devastating: US Congress committee

October 8, 2019

Washington, October 08, 2019 (PPI-OT): Weeks ahead of Congress’ Asia Subcommittee hearing on human rights in South Asia, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) has said that the communications shutdown is having a devastating impact on Kashmiris and called for restrictions to be lifted.

HFAC said via Twitter said, “India’s communications blackout in Kashmir is having a devastating impact on the lives and welfare of everyday Kashmiris.” The committee asked India to lift the restrictions and afford Kashmiris the same rights and privileges enjoyed by the Indian citizens.

The HFAC account had posted a report by the New York Times that described the death of 22-year-old Amir Farooq Dar. Mr. Dar had died 16 hours after being bitten by a snake, because his family could not get him anti-venom in time because of severe communications and movement restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 (special status for Jammu and Kashmir).

Focus on human rights

The State Department’s top South and Central Asia diplomat, Alice Wells, will be among those testifying at an October 22 HFAC Asia Subcommittee hearing, expected to focus on human rights in Kashmir, The Hindu recently reported.

The Subcommittee, headed by Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, will also discuss the rights of Muslims in Assam (where the National Register of Citizens, finalised at the end of August, excluded over 1.9 million people), Tamils in Sri Lanka and the human rights situation in Pakistan especially in the Sindh province.

U.S. lawmakers have continued to raise the issue of restrictions in Kashmir. Presidential Candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted about the issue last Saturday, asking for the rights of Kashmiris to be respected and saying the India-U.S. relationship has always been rooted in “shared democratic values”. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations called the situation a “humanitarian crisis” in a September 26 report accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, 2020.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736

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