After multiple lawmakers from the United States urged India and Pakistan to exercise peace along the border especially in Kashmir, Senator Maggie Hassan is visiting Pakistan and India to discuss the issue.
Fresh from her visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Hassan has called for finding ways to de-escalate tensions between India and Pakistan. New England Senator Maggie Hassan said this in a tweet after her visit to Pak-occupied Kashmir.
We also visited Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Amid escalating tensions in Kashmir, it’s critical that we find ways to help de-escalate the situation on both sides. I’m now traveling to India where I’ll meet officials to further discuss the situation and international trade.
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) October 10, 2019
After travelling to Afghanistan and Pakistan, she is now headed to India. In Pakistan, she met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss joint counter-terrorism work and regional stability.
“We also visited Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Amid escalating tensions in Kashmir, it’s critical that we find ways to help de-escalate the situation on both sides,” Ms Hassan said. “I’m now travelling to India where I’ll meet officials to further discuss the situation and international trade,” she added.
On Tuesday, with more than two months of communication block and curfews in Kashmir, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, said that he is “disturbed by restrictions” on communications and movement of people in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the government to live up to democratic principles by allowing freedom of press, information and political participation.
Restrictions were imposed when the BJP government in Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh on August 5.
Senator Warner tweeted his concern as he quoted a New York Times article which went by the headline, “In Kashmir, a Race Against Death, With No Way to Call a Doctor”
“While I understand India has legitimate security concerns, I am disturbed by its restrictions on communications and movement within Jammu and Kashmir,” Senator Warner tweeted.
“I hope India will live up to its democratic principles by allowing freedom of press, information, and political participation,” said the top Democratic Senator from Virginia, who has joined his other Senate colleagues from the Democratic party in calling India to lift restrictions.
While I understand India has legitimate security concerns, I am disturbed by its restrictions on communications and movement within Jammu and Kashmir. I hope India will live up to its democratic principles by allowing freedom of press, information, and political participation. https://t.co/5xlWTE6ANu
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) October 8, 2019
Last month two members of the US House of Representatives also wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take notice of the communication blackout in Kashmir.
In a letter to Secretary Pompeo dated September 11, Pramila Jayapal, the first and the only Indian-American Congresswoman in the House of Representatives, and Congressman James P McGovern said the international media and independent human rights observers must immediately be allowed into Jammu and Kashmir.
“We urge you to work across the Administration to press the Indian Government to immediately end its communications blackout of Kashmir, expedite the process of reviewing and releasing individuals ‘preventatively’ detained, ensure hospitals have access to life-saving medicines and protect the rights of the Kashmiri people to freedom of assembly and worship,” the letter states.
I continue to be deeply concerned about credible reports of a humanitarian crisis in Jammu & Kashmir. Even in complex situations, we look to strong democratic allies like India to uphold basic human rights and due process.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) September 11, 2019
The Indian government has repeatedly denied reports of human rights violation, even at the 42nd session of UNHRC in Geneva on September 10. The government of India has repeatedly denied reports of International media and human rights organisation and has justified detention of political leaders and many civilians as a ‘preventative measure’ while also claiming that everything is ‘normal’ in Kashmir since it revoked its special status.