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A
APP
June 29, 2020

Biden urges India to restore rights of Kashmiris

Top Story

A
APP
June 29, 2020

NEW YORK: Presumptive US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has called on New Delhi to take “all necessary steps” to restore the rights of the Kashmiri people in a party policy paper which highlighted India’s repression in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The paper, titled “Joe Biden’s agenda for the Muslim American communities” posted on his campaign website reads: “In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir.

“Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the internet, weaken democracy.”

It added: “These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”

India annexed Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international law, bifurcating the region into Union territories.

The move plunged the disputed Kashmir region into a virtual blackout after communication and internet services were cut off, political leaders, activists and even children were detained, health infrastructure came to a halt, journalists were barred from reporting and all civil liberties were suspended.

The Indian government has also denied access to all UN and non-UN humanitarian agencies and civil society organisations.

So far, Biden is leading President Donald Trump in all the polls ahead of the presidential race in November.

In the campaign policy paper, Biden has also expressed disappointment with the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over its anti-Muslim measures like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The paper states: “Joe Biden has been disappointed by the measures that the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act into law.

“These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”

A prominent Pakistani-American organisation on Sunday welcomed Biden’s paper. “We warmly welcome Mr Biden’s policy declaration in support of people in occupied Kashmir and Muslims in India,” Dr Ijaz Ahmed, chairman of the American-Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) issued here.

The APPAC chief said Biden’s pronouncements reflected his determination to promote peace, justice and equality in the world and that the US Democratic leader would have their full support.

By highlighting the human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir and the discriminatory policies against Muslims and other minorities in India, he said that Biden had fully exposed the really nature of “democracy” in that country. Last week, Biden held a virtual meeting with Dr Ijaz Ahmed and several members of the Pakistani-American community during which he sought their support for his White House bid.