Kashmir Issue Takes Centre Stage In The US Congress

A resolution has been introduced by Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal in the US Congress for India to swiftly end the communication lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been in place since August 2019.

What is the issue?

On August 5, 2019, the central government decided to pursue the abrogation of section 370 in Kashmir, and carve out two separate Union Territories out of the state – the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and the UT of Ladakh. The decision was followed by strict policing of the UTs, internet and communication restrictions and house arrest of various political leaders of the erstwhile state. Thus, a curtain has been drawn that has prevented any clear communication between everyday Kashmiris and the outside world, preventing the world from seeing a clear picture.

What is the international view on the matter?

A majority of the western nations, along with countries such as Saudi Arabia, have raised their voices against the treatment of Kashmir in this regard. The German Chancellor Angela Markel has gone as far as directly commenting that the situation in Kashmir is neither good nor sustainable. The United Nations Human Rights Commission has said that they are deeply concerned about the condition of the Kashmiri people who are continuously being deprived of an array of human rights. They have urged the Indian Government to urgently restore the state to normalcy and give the citizens the rights they are being denied right now. 

What is the resolution put forth in the US Congress?

The resolution asks New Delhi to restore human rights in Kashmir. There are majorly 6 parts to this resolution, the main ones being the following –

  1. Restoring communication to normalcy.
  2. Lifting the ban on internet access.
  3. Releasing every citizen detained arbitrarily.
  4. Allowing journalists and international human rights observers entry to Kashmir.
Way Forward

The Kashmir issue has hit India’s global image. However, before it can purge its image outside, India must find a way to get its house in order. The best way to ensure Kashmir is integrated with the rest of the country is to allow opportunities to enter the state. Employment and education, along with normalcy of communication and movement is the need of the hour if Kashmir is ever to heal. Release of those detained as a security measure and restoring communication in Kashmir is the first step towards a truly integrated India.


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