February 2003 News

New Hampshire Senate wants US intervention in Kashmir

28 February 2003
News Network International

NEW HAMPSHIRE: In a major shot in the arm for the pro-Pakistani lobby and the Kashmiri American Council-the All Parties Hurriyat conference's lobbying arms in the US-the New Hampshire congress has adopted a resolution urging the US congress to hold hearings on the Kashmir imbroglio as a means to put pressure on the Bush Administration to pro-actively facilitate a resolution to this age-old simmering crisis. On February 20, the New Hampshire senate approved a clone of the resolution that had been adopted by the state's house of representatives the previous week. This is the first time a resolution on Kashmir has been approved by the legislature of a US state. The pro-Pakistani lobby led by the New Jersey-headquartered Association of Pakistani Professionals led by its founder-president Sardar Asif Alam hopes that similar resolutions could be passed by other state legislatures, and would ultimately lead to American intervention in J&K. In its preamble, the resolution said, 'The people of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir have for the past 55 years been subjected to documented and unspeakable human rights abuses, including the execution of civilians, the rape and burning of women, the immolation and mutilation of children, the deliberate shelling of civilians by Indian military artillery, and the torture and murder of political detainees.' 'During January 1989 and January 31, 2003, Indian-Hindu rulers, military and police have murdered 85,065 Kashmiris, according to the Kashmir Media Service.' It also noted that the three wars between India and Pakistan, 'failed to justly resolve either the Kashmiri self-determination issue or the ongoing and egregious violations of human rights committed by the Indian-Hindu armed forces in occupied Kashmir'. Apparently, the catalyst behind the resolution was Republican Pakistani-American legislator Saghir Tahir who had persuaded the deputy majority leader of the New Hampshire house of representatives Republican Paul J Giuda to visit Pakistan and Pakistan Azad Kashmir, which he did last November, and then returned convinced that the US has to play a pro- active role in resolving this conflict. The resolution authored by Giuda's requests that the US Senate and the US House of representatives immediately initiate hearings to discern all relevant facts and circumstances attendant to the Kashmiri conflict so as to facilitate its just, peaceful and rapid resolution; to bring a cessation of atrocities against the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and to minimize the threat of nuclear war in Southwest Asia'. It called upon 'all parties to this conflict to adhere to the principles of the United Nations Charter on Human Rights forthwith, and grant observers from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch free and unrestricted access to the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir to monitor the status of human rights therein.' It was co-sponsored by representative Sharon L Nordgren, senator Lou 'Allesandro, both Democrats, and senator Robert K Boyce, a Republican.


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