ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives has asked India to lift the communication blackout in the occupied Kashmir, warning that the continued lockdown of the occupied territory was having devastating impact on people’s lives.
On its Twitter handle, the committee has also announced that its Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on human rights in Kashmir and other parts of South Asia regions on October 22.
“India’s communication blackout in Kashmir is having a devastating impact on the lives and welfare of Kashmiris. It’s time for India to lift these restrictions and afford Kashmiris the same rights and privileges as any other Indian citizen,” the committee said in a tweet.
Last week, Congressman Brad Sherman, the Chairman of the subcommittee on Asia, had announced that it would hold a hearing on
“Human Rights in South Asia.” On October 22, where Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, who oversees all State Department policy towards the region will testify.
Scott Busby, who overseas the human rights efforts is South Asia in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, will also testify.
“We have invited other State Department officials and we also expect to hear from private human rights activists on the issues,” Sherman said.
“The hearing will focus on the Kashmir Valley, where many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet, and telephone communications have been interrupted,” said a statement shared by the committee on its Twitter handle.
The hearing will also review the humanitarian situation and whether Kashmiris have adequate supplies of food, medicine, and other essentials,” it said. “I have had several meetings with Kashmiri Americans. I look forward to learning more about human rights in Kashmir,” Sherman said.