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Communication Blackout in Kashmir

Two Concerned US Lawmakers Seek Immediate End ..

US lawmakers have been seeking an immediate end to communication blackout in Kashmir.

Two US lawmakers have significant concerns over the humanitarian and human rights “crisis” in Kashmir.

The lawmakers have urged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press India to immediately end communication blackout in Kashmir.

Moreover, they have been seeking the release of those who have been detained.

In a letter to Secretary Pompeo dated September 11, Congressman James P McGovern and Pramila Jayapal, the first and the only Indian-American Congresswoman in the House of Representatives, 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.

“We are, in particular, concerned about reliable reports from journalists and advocates on the ground that the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse,” they said.

As a preventive measure, the government imposed restrictions after India scrapped Article 370 of the constitution to revoke J&K’s decades-old special status.

Also Read: Single move takes away J&K’s special status; Article 370 is scrapped

In the letter, two lawmakers wrote, “We also urged the Indian Government at its highest levels to make it clear that religious tolerance – long a principle of Indian history and democracy – must be upheld.”

“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,” tweeted Jayapal along with the letter.

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