In a long hearing held in the US Congress, American leaders have criticized India’s stand on Kashmir.
During the discussion on the human rights of the South Asia region at the US Congress on Tuesday, the issue of Kashmir dominated itself.
Apart from the officials presented by the US government, the American Parliamentary Committee also listened to the local witnesses on the Kashmir issue.
Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells said before the committee that America has made India aware of its concern about the situation in Kashmir.
She said, “The department has conveyed to India its concerns over the continuous detention of hundreds of people and several leaders including three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir. We have appealed to the Indian authorities to restore internet and mobile services and Has demanded to conduct assembly elections at the earliest. “
“The US supports the right of the Kashmiri people to protest peacefully but criticizes those who use violence and fear to weaken the dialogue,” Wells said.
Alice Wells also said that ‘removal of Article 370 from Kashmir is an internal matter of India’ but her concern is about ‘human rights violations’ happening there.
Question from both India and Pakistan
During the hearing, members of the US Congress also raised the issue of prohibition of foreign journalists, foreign diplomats and officials from going to Kashmir and said that due to this, correct information is not available from there.
During this hearing, Pakistan was also criticized for not ending terrorism from its land, but the questions of most American officials remained focused on India.
Sub-committee chair Brett Sherman questioned, “Can we trust the Indian government officials when the Indian government is preventing our diplomats from going there to take review of the situation?”
In response to this question, Wells said that the American officials are dependent on the Indian authorities for information about Kashmir.
While speaking before the committee, educationist and writer Nitasha Kaul questioned the claims of India, “The basic question here is the will of the people. If any step is taken for the welfare and development of the people, then why did the tens of thousands of soldiers need to be called? “
Nitasha said, “Why this decision was made suddenly without taking any opinion of the people, even the pro-India leaders were put in jail. The public was completely denied the right to express their opinion, if it is for their good then why are none of them being allowed to speak anything about it?
Internationalization of Kashmir issue?
After the issue of Kashmir in the American Committee, the question has once again come up whether the issue of Kashmir is being internationalized?
Kashish Parpiani, who is associated with the Observer Research Foundation, says, “The Kashmir issue is still mostly bilateral. If the issue has been discussed in the international forum, it can be said that internationalization has happened but if anyone else says it will be considered here This is not happening. In this context, it can be said that this issue is still completely bilateral. “
On the other hand, former Foreign Secretary of India, Shashank says, “The issue of human rights remains a matter of concern. Especially the kind of situation that is prevailing in the world. The human rights issue becomes even more serious because of the refugee crisis, but I do not believe that the issue of Kashmir has been internationalized by the discussion on human rights in Kashmir in the US Congress. All countries have said that this problem is an internal matter and that India and Pakistan should resolve their issues themselves. “
Shashank says, “India has a sensitivity to human rights and there are human rights commissions and courts here. India’s emphasis is on removing the restrictions that are in Kashmir as soon as possible. The most important thing for India is that people are improving the security situation.” To ensure human rights. “
Shashank also says that the restrictions imposed in Kashmir for security should be removed as soon as possible. The freedom that the Constitution of India has given to the people should be given to them.
Kashish, who is associated with the Observer Research Foundation, also believes that the Republican leader’s inclination towards India was shown during the hearing. Citing this example, Kashish says that American foreign policy also looked divided and the issue of human rights was being raised by most Democrat MPs.
He said, “Republican leader Ted Yoho has repeatedly emphasized during his questions that the major reason for what has happened in Kashmir is that Pakistan could not take necessary steps against terrorism. They were talking about reaction to the action.” India’s criticism of the issue of human rights has come mostly from the Democrats. In a way, in the matter of foreign policy, America seems divided. ” Says Kashish.
“Former US President Thomas Jefferson once said that when it comes to domestic issues, we may be like a divided country, but in all matters of foreign policy, we should be united beyond the politics of Democrats and Republican leaders in America. “The idea of US foreign policy is now being broken. Republican and Democrat leaders are seen divided on foreign issues.”
During the hearing, Alice Wells also said that This assessment of America will not affect the relationship with India.
After the removal of the major provisions of Article 370 from Kashmir, many US leaders have expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir, but there has been no significant change in the relationship between America and India.