Pallone Introduces Resolution On Kashmiri Pandits In US House5 August 2011
Times of India
Washington DC: Influential Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone has introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives, condemning the extremist violence against the Kashmiri Pandits since 1989. The resolution condemns the extremist violence, lack of religious freedom, and human rights violations committed against Kashmiri Pandits, which they have endured for more than two decades. It also insists that terrorist infrastructure in the region must be dismantled and terrorists should be held accountable for their actions. Noting that Kashmiri Pandits are the original inhabitants of Kashmir, tracing their heritage and culture back several millennia; the resolution says that Kashmiri Pandits have been the victims of documented human rights violations resulting in the severe curtailment of their religious freedom for more than two decades. Stating that Kashmiri Pandit population has declined from 400,000 in 1989 to a current level of less than 4,000 in the Kashmir Valley and many Pandits continue to live in refugee camps; the resolution observes that international human rights organisations have noted the campaign of intimidation and violence directed by foreign militants and foreign terrorist organizations against Kashmiri Pandits. The resolution has been welcomed by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). 'While too many policy makers in Washington DC do little to highlight the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, Congressman Pallone has taken the lead in raising awareness about this critical matter,' said HAF's director Samir Kalra. 'HAF is pleased that an issue it has pursued with Congressman Pallone's help for several years has been introduced in the House again,' Kalra said. 'The introduction of H.Res. 387 is not only significant for Kashmiri Hindus and the Hindu American community, but also furthers America's commitment to promoting religious freedom around the world,' continued Kalra.