The US Congressman expresses concern about the human rights situation in Kashmir
A prominent US congressman has expressed concern about the human rights situation in Kashmir and stressed that the US government must make it clear that it expects more from democracies like India.
Congressman Andy Levin’s comments — a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Asia, Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee — came during a virtual congressional briefing organized by the Indian American Muslim Council and 16 other groups on Wednesday.
The Democratic Party Congressman stressed the need for the US to take a clear stance on India’s human rights abuses and make it clear that the US cares about what is happening in Kashmir and that we expect better from democracies like India.
India has repeatedly dismissed criticism from foreign governments, lawmakers and human rights groups that civil liberties have been eroded in the country.
The government has asserted that India has well-established democratic practices and robust institutions to protect everyone’s rights.
The government has stressed that the Indian Constitution provides adequate safeguards to protect human rights in various laws.
Citing reports from various human rights groups documenting human rights abuses and the increased crackdown in Kashmir following the lifting of its special autonomous status, Levin warned that the abuses did not take place in a vacuum, saying these abuses are part of a worrying trend towards authoritarianism.
The Indian parliament had lifted the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two union territories on August 5, 2019.
The Foreign Ministry had stated that the Constitution was, is and always will be a sovereign matter and that developments related to Article 370 are solely India’s internal affairs.
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