October 2019 News

US Hearing On Kashmir Shows 'Lack Of Understanding', Says India

24 October 2019

Washington DC: The government today said it is regrettable that a few US lawmakers used a Congressional hearing to question measures to protect lives of people in Jammu and Kashmir. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the US Congressional hearing on Kashmir was a reflection of lack of understanding about robust functioning of democratic institutions in India. The government remains responsive to safety and well-being of people in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. 'We are regularly updating the US government about situation in Kashmir,' he said. During the Congressional hearing on 'Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region' on Tuesday, some US lawmakers had expressed concerns over the restrictions on movement and communications in Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of its special status. 'It is regrettable that a few members of the US Congress used the Congressional hearing on human rights in South Asia to question the measures taken recently to safeguard life, peace and security in Kashmir,' Mr Kumar said in response to a question on the issue at a media briefing. 'These comments display a very limited understanding of India's history, her pluralistic society, constitutionally guaranteed freedom, fundamental rights and the robust institutions operating in the world's largest democracy,' he said. Mr Kumar said India felt that the hearing should have been used to ascertain the facts on the state-sponsored cross border terrorism afflicting Kashmir which endangered the most fundamental of human rights, namely, the right to life. 'The government remains responsible for and responsive to the safety and well-being of its citizens,' he said. The official said India has been informing the US about developments in Kashmir. 'We have urged our interlocutors to bear in mind the aspect of cross border terrorism in forming an opinion on the situation,' he said. 'We take note of statements made by Administration officials including by Ambassador Alice Wells that Pakistan needs to do much more in curbing terrorism in its territory in a credible, verifiable and irreversible manner,' Mr Kumar said. On August 5, India withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. Several security restrictions were imposed in Kashmir as well as Jammu following the decision.