Pakistan welcomes US Sub-Committee hearing on HR situation in IOJ&K

Zahid/Abdul Rehman – October 24, 2019

Pakistan has welcomed the US House of Representative’s Sub-Committee on Asia & the Pacific public hearing on human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

In a statement on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan appreciates the efforts of the Members of U.S. Congress who have raised their voice on the persecution of the people Indian Occupied Kashmir.

He said more than 70 members of the U.S. Congress and several prominent political figures including those intending to join the Presidential election race, have publicly spoken on the Kashmir issue.

The spokesperson said the US Congressional hearing has brought out three key elements that Kashmir is a disputed territory and the current human rights situation is alarming. He said it also demonstrated that the U.S. leadership and lawmakers are cognizant of the potential threats to peace and stability in the region and willing to play their due role to help resolve the dispute.

The spokesperson said the latest hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives is timely and shows the world community’s continued concern over the unacceptable situation in occupied Kashmir and the need to address it urgently.

The spokesperson noted that the US congressional deliberations were mostly focused on the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir. Members of the Sub-Committee noted that India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5 and subsequent lockdown have created a humanitarian crisis with security implications for the entire region.

Heart rending accounts of detentions, beatings and torture of innocent Kashmiris remained the most poignant part of the hearing, which evoked a unified reaction from Members for an urgent end to these violations.

At the hearing, senior officials of the State Department expressed U.S. concern over the human rights situation. Members of the Congress also expressed their indignation and shock over the refusal of permission by the Indian authorities to U.S. lawmakers and journalists to travel to Kashmir.

Senior US Administration officials inter alia repeated President Trump’s offer of mediation.   Dr Muhammad said that Pakistan for its part has welcomed the U.S. President’s offer as we believe that the international community has a role to play in averting risks to peace and stability in the region and facilitating a just and lasting solution to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

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