Washington DC: In celebration of India’s 72 years of Independence from British rule, USINPAC issues a statement and commends Prime Minister Modi for taking a fresh look at the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under Article 370.
In 1947, after India was acrimoniously partitioned and Pakistan came into being, J&K’s accession has been a source of conflict and tension. Although Maharaja Hari Singh, ruler of J&K, signed the Instrument of Accession acceding the state to India after partition, both India and Pakistan claim ownership. In 1948, the UN called for Pakistan to withdraw its troops from J&K. Pakistan stayed put. India did, too. Following three full-scale wars, India and Pakistan eventually agreed to a 460-mile-long Line of Control (LoC) and a resolution through bilateral negotiations. Today, Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint.
Since 1972, when the LoC was formally established, the area has been a point of frequent and violent cross-border attacks. As PM Modi reminds, in the last three decades over 42,000 people have lost their lives in J&K. On Feb. 14, 2019, in the single deadliest attack in the history of the Kashmir conflict, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organization, attacked in Pulwama, killing 40 Indian soldiers. While words of outrage were tossed around like paper tigers, the U.S. eventually offered to mediate but India rightfully asserted that India’s internal affairs are India’s internal affairs.
As a matter of national security and to end cross-border terrorism, PM Modi has called for two Union Territories in India-administered J&K, with the promise of normalcy and elections soon. Some call the move undemocratic. However, India, home to more than 1.3 billion people, is the largest democracy on Earth, and PM Modi is a freely elected leader. He was elected in a landslide victory, as was his Party. The vast majority of Indian and Indian Americans stand with the Party and the PM. PM Modi’s actions are a “reference to the people.” The people of India deserve peace, as do the people of Pakistan. By revoking Article 370, a temporary provision of 1952, which granted provisional autonomy to Kashmir, PM Modi is taking up the right to peace.
“No one should use the revocation of Article 370 to faith-bait,” Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC said. “India is against terrorism, not religion. USINPAC commends PM Modi for his historic decision to create a new day for a better tomorrow.”
About USINPAC: USINPAC is a bi-partisan organization a voice of over 3.2 million Indian Americans. We connect our members to candidates of their choice. During the 2020 election cycle, we will be hosting events across the country to make sure Indian Americans are heard. If you would like to be part of this historic effort and bring about outcomes that matter, sign up for our email updates and get involved today at today at www.usinpac.com