Washington D.C.: On October 22, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation included for the record USINPAC’s statement about Kashmir. USINPAC went on the record for historical purposes to express support for India’s way forward in the region.
The Indian American community, which USINPAC has represented on Capitol Hill since 2002, is deeply concerned about Kashmir. “Kashmir is a very serious issue for Indian Americans and it should be an important issue for the US, as India is a vital partner,” said Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC. “This why USINPAC held a joint briefing on Capitol Hill ahead of the Subcommittee hearing to provide an accurate account of what is happening in Kashmir.” The briefing was held in cooperation with the Indo American Community Federation (IACF), the Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) and the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS-USA).
Personal victim accounts of persecution were shared and a video about current life in Kashmir was also shown. At the briefing, Jeff Smith of the Heritage Foundation, who has previously visited Kashmir, said he was touched by the stories and wondered why these accounts had not been covered by the western press, while Pakistan’s narrative about Kashmir has been getting wide spread coverage.
“When the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation decided to hold a hearing on October 22 about Human Rights in South Asia, USINPAC felt it was very important to have testimony on record to counter any false narratives put forward,” Puri said. “Our statement was clear. In no uncertain terms, USINPAC explained that by removing Article 370, a temporary provision of 1952 that granted provisional autonomy to J&K, Prime Minister Modi is moving the region forward through integration, peace, and prosperity. No one should use the removal of Article 370 to faith-bait. India is against terrorism, not religion.”
USINPAC also reiterated that India 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 regarding J&K are a “reference to the people.”
“The people of India deserve peace, as do the people of Pakistan,” Puri stated, “and USINPAC is hopeful that hearings in Congress will focus on getting this message across.” USINPAC thanked the Subcommittee for including its statement in Committee Records. Committee records are available for public viewing and become an official part of House proceedings. The full text of USINPAC’s statement may be accessed at
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