Kashmiris continue to suffer greatly due to lingering Kashmir dispute: Dr Fai

#USReportOnReligiousFreedomInIndia

Washington, D.C., April 27 (KMS): The Chairman of Washington-based World Forum for Peace & Justice, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, has said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer greatly as the dispute over the territory keeps on lingering.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai said this while commenting on a report released by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in which it very strongly recommended to the US Department of State to designate India as a ‘country of particular concern,’ or CPC, for engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.

Dr Fai in a statement issued in Washington said, it is a fact that a climate of widespread tension is not conducive to a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute. He said there is a great urgency to end the human rights violations and reduce the tension, not only for the people of Kashmir but also for the minority communities in India – Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits, and others.

The Kashmiri leader maintained that while the Government of India struggles to support the façade of a progressive nation with respect to democracy and human rights, the malicious acts of terror being committed on a repeated basis are proof of a dire need of change. He pointed out that the Government of India has declined either to punish or to investigate seriously instances of persecution of Muslims in Kashmir and elsewhere. He said even though some Indian human rights groups are active throughout the country and in IIOJK, the Indian government is yet to allow Amnesty International to set up an office in India. The Amnesty has been trying to gain the access to the human rights violations in India and Kashmir, but the Government of India has ruled out any visit by it there, he added.

Dr Fai said that the Biden Administration has a moral obligation as a world power to persuade the Indian government to bring these atrocities in India and Kashmir to an immediate end. He urged the US to insist on transparency in Kashmir to build moral suasion against the massive and systematic human rights violations, perpetrated with impunity. “The US cannot simply stand by and allow the Indian government to trample all international norms and fundamental freedoms in India and Kashmir. This must not stand,” he added.

Pertinently, the USCIRF also called upon the US administration to impose targeted sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for severe violations of religious freedom by freezing those individual’s or entities’ assets and / or barring their entry into the US. It also recommended to the US Congress that it should raise religious freedom issues in the US-India bilateral relationship and highlight concerns through hearings, briefings, letters, and congressional delegations.