US Assistant Secretary Presses for early Election in Jammu and Kashmir
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TheIndiaObserver, TIO: The US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Donald Lu has expressed concerns about the developments in India, especially about delayed election in Jammu and Kashmir, human rights abuse there, and also on growing reports of discrimination against minorities, freedom of speech and on NGOs in India, media reported.
Mr. Lu who was testifying before the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington DC said, “The troubling work” of the Assembly elections remains in Jammu and Kashmir. This has not been held even after the promises being made.”
“We believe that all Kashmiris deserve the right to live in dignity, enjoy the protections afforded to them by the Indian Constitution.” “We look forward to encouraging India to fulfill its commitments,” Mr. Lu said in his opening remarks before the Senate Committee.
The senior diplomat, who has served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi between 2010 and 2013, said that he had traveled to Kashmir eight times, including during the Kargil War, and added, “India continues to report infiltration by militants in Jammu and Kashmir but it has “reduced markedly” over the past two years.”
The new Assistant Secretary of South Asia after flagging the issue of the indefinite delay in the state election in Jammu and Kashmir also reported about the ongoing human rights abuse in J&K.
Mr. Lu also raised concern about the detention of prominent journalists in Jammu Kashmir and said, “We have not seen the free movement of journalists. We’ve seen the detention of some prominent journalists in the Kashmir valley,” he added.
Mr. Lu also raised concern over human rights abuses elsewhere in India, particularly in the minority communities. “We are closely monitoring reports of discrimination against Muslim communities and other religious minority groups as well and limits on free speech and NGOs in India.“
As partners of India, it is imperative on us to speak up when we witness troubling events there,” he said.
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. Senate committees monitor on-going governmental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action to the Senate.
Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, Curated by Maham Abbasi