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August 11, 2019

Modi’s IHK action contributes to tension

Top Story

August 11, 2019

WASHINGTON: Member US House of Representatives Thomas Suozzi has written a detailed letter to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with his legitimate concerns focusing on the fact that Kashmir was a potential flashpoint for conflict between India and Pakistan.

"The point made to me repeatedly was that there could be no attention paid to the problems in Kashmir on the eastern border with India until the western border was sufficiently addressed," he said in the letter. Suozzi said he was concerned that Modi's recent action in Kashmir had contributed to tensions that were now higher than ever, and Kashmir must become a major focus of the administration. "Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent visit to the United States demonstrates that our countries are now working together to counter terrorism and other security related issues along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. The Indian government's recent actions in the territories of Jammu and Kashmir demand that we also focus on this area as well," he said.

He pointed out human rights violations in the Jammu and Kashmir areas saying that the Indian government's actions risk provoking mass social unrest, as the people of Kashmir have long sought greater autonomy, freedoms, and the opportunity for self-determination.

"These new restrictions on the autonomy of the state and the rights of Kashmiris could also embolden extremists and terrorists to act," he said.

He also quoted American media reports about Modi's policies dividing India along the ethnic and religious lines, and further asked the secretary to share what actions the administration intends to take.

"We must, as you know, hold true to our values of respecting the human rights of all people, including religious minorities, and we must use our influence to encourage our allies to do the same. We also must do all we can to help prevent a violent confrontation," the congressman said.

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