Islamabad: US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar along with a delegation; of Timothy Mynett, Nicholas Lampson, and Tahir Javed made a rare visit to Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday where she held a discussion with Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhary and also during the tour to LoC, Chakothi bridge, she interacted with local families respectively. During the deliberations over the Kashmir issue with the AJK president, the congresswoman remarked that she had already voiced serious concerns over the human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and would take up the issue with the US Congress as well as the Biden administration.
“We are deeply worried about India’s 5th August 2019 action”, she said, according to a statement issued by the AJK government.
She further said that the issue should get more attention from the United States, prompting an angry response from India. In retrospect, The Muslim-majority Kashmir region has long been the source of tensions between nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan, leading them to fight three wars since winning independence from the British Empire in 1947. Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhary Thursday said India’s traditional intransigence was the stumbling block in the way of resolving the long-drawn Kashmir conflict that had now assumed dangerous proportions.
The AJK President thanked the US delegates for their visit. He also hailed Ilhan Abdullah Omar for taking a strong stance on human rights violations being committed by the Indian forces in the Indian occupied territory. “The manner in which you have condemned the human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir by India is a source of strength to us,” he said.
Referring to the unresolved Kashmir dispute, Barrister Chaudhary told the visiting delegation that Indian stubbornness was one of the major hurdles in its peaceful resolution. “Owing to India’s intransigence no progress whatsoever has been made on the issue since 1947,” he said. Instead of resolving the dispute peacefully, he added, India had deployed over 900,000 troops in the disputed territory. The Indian troops deployed in length and breadth of Kashmir have been involved in systematic genocide of Kashmiris.” In order to change the region’s demography, he said, “India has issued fake domiciles to 4.2 million non-state Hindus to change the proportion of population in occupied Kashmir.”
He said under the given circumstances there was a dire need that the international community, especially the United States, must come forward and help resolve the dispute between the two nuclear powers. Later talking to the media, Ilhan Omar said that her visit to the Azad Jammu Kashmir had improved her understanding of the Kashmir issue, and she would raise the issue at every forum.
While responding to a question on the Kashmir, she mentioned that we held a hearing in the foreign affairs committee (of Congress) to look at the reports of human rights violations,” “I don’t believe that it (Kashmir) is being talked about to the extent it needs to in Congress but also with the administration,” Omar told reporters after visiting LOC between Pakistan and India. She added.
Pertinent to mention that, Omar, a Somali American who belongs to President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, is the first naturalised citizen of African birth to sit in the US Congress.
It is noted that, earlier this month she questioned what she called the reluctance of the US government to criticise Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on human rights.
Days later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was monitoring what he described as a rise in human rights abuses in India by some officials, in a rare direct rebuke by Washington of New Delhi’s rights leaving the fascist Modi regime red faced. New Delhi deceitfully controls access to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) for foreign observers, including the UN.