Sunanda Vashisht presents Kashmiri Pandit side at US Congressional hearing

It is high time to strengthen India to fight against insurgencies in Kashmir, said columnist Sunanda Vashisht, adding that the move will following help in solving the human rights problems in the region forever.

"India's democratic credentials are unmatched. The country has successfully, in a democratic setup, defeated insurgencies in Punjab and northeast. It is time to strengthen India against such insurgencies and the human rights problems will be solved forever," columnist Sunanda Vashisht told a US Congressional hearing on Human Rights in Washington on Thursday.

India has "not occupied" Kashmir and Kashmir was always an integral part of India, she said. "India is not just a 70-year-old identity, but a 5000-year-old civilisation. There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India."

Talking about what she described as "ISIS level of horror and brutality" she had seen in Kashmir, the columnist said: "I am glad these hearings are happening here today because when my family and everyone like me lost our homes our livelihood and our way of life the world remained silent."

India has "not occupied" Kashmir and Kashmir was always an integral part of India, she said. "India is not just a 70-year-old identity, but a 5000-year-old civilisation. There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India."

Around 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus fled right after the night of horror. "They survived. Those who didn't were killed. Today, 30 years later, I am still not welcome in my home in Kashmir. I am not allowed to follow my faith there. My house in Kashmir is illegally occupied as most others in my communities. And those which were not occupied have been burnt down or ransacked," she told the hearing.

In her concluding remarks, the columnist further stated that India has "not occupied" Kashmir and that Kashmir was always an integral part of India. "India is not just a 70-year-old identity, but a 5000-year-old civilisation. There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India," she said.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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