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Thursday, July 18, 2024

US Senators Urge Trump to Intervene in Kashmir to end the Humanitarian Crisis

US Senators have pressed President Donald Trump to intervene and engage with the Narendra Modi-led Indian government to put an end to the escalating humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir that has continued for over a month now. Trump, in the past, has offered to mediate between Pakistan and India if asked

US Senators have joined forces to demand US President Donald Trump to intervene and help end the “humanitarian crisis” escalating across the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir after New Delhi forcefully annexed the valley and imposed an unprecedented security lockdown.

Senators Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen, Lindsey Graham, and Todd Young, on Thursday, wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, pressing him to immediately intervene and urge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put an end to the communications blackout and prolonged curfew.

US Engagement Critical in Kashmir

Highlighting the “grave implications for democracy, human rights and stability” of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Indian occupied Kashmir, US Senators Chris Van Hollen, Lindsey Graham, Ben Cardin, and Todd Young pressed Donald Trump to intervene and engage with India to provide relief to the people of Kashmir.

The letter read, “While we support your goal of working with the parties to help find a long-term resolution to the status of Kashmir, we write now to urge you to immediately facilitate an end to the current humanitarian crisis there.”

The US Senators said, “In keeping with your offer of assistance in July, we believe that U.S. engagement with India will be critical in providing relief for all of the people of Kashmir.”

The US Senators pressed President Trump to call upon Indian Prime Minister Modi to put an end to the communications blackout and curfew, and release all Kashmiri prisoners. The letter stated, “With each passing day, the situation for the people of Kashmir becomes increasingly difficult.”

The communications blackout and movement restrictions are denying healthcare facilities to the people of the occupied valley, and money in the ATM has been scarce as the local economy has shattered.

“Therefore, we ask that you call upon Prime Minister Modi to fully restore telecommunications and internet services, lift the lockdown and curfew, and release Kashmiris detained pursuant to India’s revocation of Article 370.”

With regards to Pakistan, the letter stated, “Pakistan must also end its support and safe haven for militant groups operating on its soil – including those targeting India – and refrain from taking any steps that could further destabilize Kashmir.”

The Senators concluded that once the US has resolved the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir, it can help the two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals resolve their disputes.

Read more: Kashmir Tragedy – A Private View

The letter stated, “The United States has a vital role to play in facilitating a resolution to this humanitarian crisis, and we urge you to act swiftly. Once the urgent humanitarian situation has been addressed, we hope the United States can play a constructive role in helping resolve the underlying disputes between the two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan.”

40th Day of Curfew

The curfew imposed on the occupied valley enters its 40th day and shows no sign of being uplifted while New Delhi and the Indian administration continue to claim normalcy has been restored.

Addressing the debate on the report of the UN Security Council at the UN General Assembly, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, maintained that while UNSC resolutions are implemented, “others are ignored.”

Lodhi said, “The Kashmir dispute not only represents a brutal occupation but is also a reminder of SC promise to Kashmiris of their right to self-determination.”

Sharing from her official account, Ambassador Lodhi tweeted, “I said in UN General Assembly that after the illegal Indian annexation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir the grim reality of occupation has become ever starker for the Kashmiris. In its second month, the darkness of the curfew & blackout imposed on the people shows no sign of ending.”

Reiterating Pakistan’s demand, Maleeha Lodhi tweeted, “I told UNGA that the Security Council must act, by demanding that India lift the curfew, end the communication blackout, allow people to exercise all their rights; release all those detained; halt human rights violations, including use of force against unarmed demonstrators.”

On 5th August, the Modi administration unilaterally abolished the special constitutional privileges of the occupied Himalayan region and imposed a brutal security lockdown after deploying tens of thousands of additional troops to a region that was already the most militarized zone in the world.

Unarmed civilians are suffering an unprecedented communications blackout, and access to telephones and the internet has been barred, alongside placing restrictions on movements and everyday activities. The communications blackout and movement restrictions are denying healthcare facilities to the people of the occupied valley, and money in the ATM has been scarce as the local economy has shattered.

Read more: World continues to appease Modi, while Kashmir bleeds?

Families are unable to contact their loved ones, and international media reports reveal that over 4,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the valley. Enforced disappearances, nocturnal raids, arbitrary arrests and pellet gun injuries have become the new normal for innocent Kashmiris.

The Modi administration has set an unprecedented record of political arrests under the draconian Public Safety Act, which allows the Indian authorities to imprison anyone for over two years without a formal trial or charge, Kashmiri activists, journalists, students, academicians, and politicians have been either placed under house arrest, or arrested and shipped off to jails across India.