With a listening to on Kashmir on the U.S. Home of Representatives scheduled for November 14, the uneven waters on Capitol Hill that India has discovered itself in, at the very least because the October 22 listening to on human rights in South Asia, don’t appear to be letting up.
The Tom Lantos Human Rights Fee, a bi-partisan fee, will maintain a listening to “to examine the human rights situation in the former State of Jammu and Kashmir in India in historical and national context,” an announcement from the Fee’s web site mentioned.
“Witnesses will examine the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the context of the region’s history and larger patterns of rights violations in India and Pakistan, and will offer recommendations for action by Congress,” the Fee mentioned, outlining the restrictions from the Indian facet positioned on Kashmir since Article 370 was abrogated by Parliament in early August.
‘Article 370 hampering development in J&K’
“The increased militarisation of the security presence in the region and the economic and social consequences of the central government’s actions, including continuing restrictions on internet and phones, have also provoked widespread concern,” the assertion learn. “In addition, militants have targeted migrant workers from outsider Kashmir, and have threatened businesses to maintain a protest shutdown.”
Indian diplomats have, because the legislative adjustments in early August, been doing the rounds of Capitol Hill in addition to lobbying on the state and district degree by way of the Consuls Common, highlighting the federal government’s place on the adjustments in Kashmir challenge – that Article 370 was hampering growth in Jammu and Kashmir and subsequently needed to go, and that restrictions, which have been progressively eased, are in place for safety causes.
These arguments didn’t cease the criticism on the October 22 listening to. Members of Congress had been focussed on persevering with restrictions on cellular information and web entry in Kashmir, the numbers nonetheless in detention and overseas correspondents not being allowed entry to the area. This prompted renewed diplomatic outreach by Indian officers, together with India’s U.S. Ambassador assembly with U.S lawmakers on October 29 and October 30.
Listing of witnesses
The Indian facet has considerations about Thursday’s listening to, together with that the record of witnesses largely includes identified critics of the Indian place, Bharat.One has discovered.
One witness, Yousra Y Fazili, a human rights lawyer, is the niece of a kind of detained in Kashmir, Mubeen Shah. The Fee web site describes Ms. Fazili as a “Human rights lawyer and Kashmiri-American cousin of Mubeen Shah, detained Kashmiri businessman.”
Bharat.One requested a Fee consultant for a response to the criticism that it was one-sided.
“The Commission’s mandate is to promote, defend and advocate for internationally recognised human rights norms as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Kimberly Stanton, a spokesperson for the Fee informed Bharat.One. “The ‘side’ the Commission takes on all issues is that of individuals and communities who credibly allege that their rights have been violated.”
The witness record additionally contains Sunanda Vashisht, who the Fee describes as a “writer, political commentator, and Kashmiri Hindu who identifies as a victim of ethnic cleansing.”
A Commissioner from the U.S. Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom, Arunima Bhargava, will testify within the first of two panels on the listening to. The second panel will embody human rights attorneys, a professor of anthropology and John Stifton, a director at Human Rights Watch.
Brief discover across the listening to
One other challenge for the Indian facet has been the quick discover across the listening to, which was posted on Monday — three days earlier than the listening to itself.
“Commission hearings are posted once the description of the topic and initial witness list receive final approval. In this case, the hearing was finalised over the weekend and posted on the holiday [Monday],” Ms. Stanton informed Bharat.One.
The panel, is headed by James P. McGovern (Democrat, Massachusetts) and Chris Smith (Republican, New Jersey), and is usually comprised of Democrats, who’ve, sometimes, been extra vocal of their criticism of India’s current actions round Kashmir.
“We are working hard to level the playing field,” India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla informed Bharat.One, about present diplomatic efforts round Thursday’s listening to, however didn’t elaborate on how this was being carried out.