Indian Democrat lawmaker Pramila Jayapal has submitted a bipartisan resolution for the Indian-occupied Kashmir in the US Congress. The resolution is also backed by the Republican Steve Watkins and is expected to gain a majority in the house.
In the resolution, Jayapal has urged the Indian government to end restrictions in the occupied region and preserve religious freedom for all residents in Kashmir.
Yesterday, I introduced a bipartisan House Resolution with @Rep_Watkins to urge the Indian government to end restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents. https://t.co/OcR5qwQeUy
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) December 8, 2019
The bill also demands the release of youth that were arrested or detained during the mass detention campaign after the revocation of Kashmir’s special status on August 5.
Contrary to Indian claims of normalcy in the region, the detention of thousands of Kashmiris -including three former chief ministers – and the blockade of communications has entered the fourth month in December.
The #Kashmir resolution recently introduced in the House of Representatives contains some of the strongest bipartisan criticism of Indian policy that we've seen on the Hill for quite some time. The full text is well worth a read: https://t.co/Wtgdfwhhb2 1/n
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) December 8, 2019
The resolution, which will be put to the vote in the house this week, also urges the Indian government to:
Allow international human rights observers and journalists to access Jammu and Kashmir and operate freely throughout India, without threats, and condemn, at the highest levels, all religiously motivated violence, including that violence which targets against religious minorities.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns about the violation of human rights in Kashmir. Previously, there have been two congressional hearings on the issue.
In October this year, the US Congressmen wrote a letter to the Indian Ambassador to Washington, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, seeking an answer on the ground realities in the occupied Kashmir.