US Commission urged to address Pakistan's role as a state sponsor of terror

Washington: A group of three prominent Hindu and Kashmiri organisations has urged a US Congressional Commission to recognise the unique security challenges faced by India in Jammu and Kashmir and forcefully address Pakistan's role as a state sponsor of terror.

The Hindu American Foundation, Indo-American Kashmir Forum and Kashmir Hindu Foundation made the appeal to the Tom Lantos Commission on Thursday.

"We.. urge the Commission to recognize the unique security challenges faced by America's ally India in Jammu and Kashmir and forcefully address Pakistan's role as a state sponsor of terror," the organisations said in a joint statement.

The US government should fully support India's internal sovereign decisions, and the State Department should continue to engage with the Indian government on a road map toward restoring normalcy and lifting of restrictions as soon as is reasonably possible, they said.

"Moreover, the US should hold Pakistan accountable for its support of cross-border terrorism and it's persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, including Kashmiris, so that peace is restored in Kashmir once and for all," they said.

The organisations expressed disappointment that the Democratic Party-dominated Commission, a bipartisan Congressional Caucus of the US House of Representatives, chose to hold the hearing on the human rights situation in Kashmir within a very short public notice of only 48 hours.

"The US government should support the human rights of the ethnically cleansed Kashmiri Hindu population and other Kashmiris who have been victimized by Pakistani sponsored terror groups," they said in their statement.

Justifying the Indian government's decision to revoke Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said the repeal of the articles ensures that all democratic laws passed in the Indian Parliament are applied to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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