Indian Americans Urge Trump Administration to ‘Fully Support’ India’s Decision on KashmirAugust 07, 2019 10:48
(Image source from: Livemint)
The Indian diaspora in the United States has called on Trump administration to “fully support” India’s decision to revoke Article 370, the constitutional provision that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. They also urged to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support to cross-border terrorism.
Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and allowed it to have its flag and constitution, among other rights, was revoked on Monday by Indian government. The government also moved a separate bill to split the state into two union territories of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.
“We urge the U.S. to fully support India's internal sovereign decisions on Kashmir and to continue to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support of cross-border terrorism, so the Kashmir conflict can be resolved once and for all,” Samir Kalra, managing director of Hindu-American Foundation (HAF), said.
Kalra said that the annulment of Articles 35A and 370, which were only intended as temporary provisions, is a crucial step in bringing about a solution to the Kashmir issue.
"It will help better integrate the residents of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh into the rest of India and apply one set of equal laws across the country,” Kalra said.
“Moreover, it will help create conditions for the full rehabilitation and resettlement of the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley,” he added.
The President of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Krishna Reddy, said that this is Narendra Modi government's best gift to the nation on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day of India.
“It is a historic day as Modi government could deliver a long-awaited decision of scrapping article 370 and corrected the historic blunder made by the Nehru government,” Reddy said.
Reddy announced that OFBJP and other Indian diaspora organizations are planning celebratory events in the coming next two weeks.
The World Hindu Council of American hailed the decision of Indian government. It said that with the revoke of Article 370, the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will finally be fully unified with the rest of India, allowing sustainable and effective development in these regions.
“We hope that people from all over India, will join the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in celebrating this momentous occasion,” it said.
Ravi Batra, the New York-based attorney, said that this action must deliver enhanced peace and security to Jammu and Kashmir, as well as between India and Pakistan.
“It's time for the Sub-Continent to celebrate freedom - not only from colonialism - but terror too. The United States, as a friend of the Sub-Continent, wants peace and prosperity to reign, not fear and terror,” Batra said.
Indian American Puneet Ahluwalia said that it should not come as a surprise, as revocation of 35A and 370 has always been part of BJP's manifesto. “There are forces in Kashmir and neighbouring Pakistani establishment who would likely want this bold internal initiative to fail. This is a sensitive action which can either turn into a nightmare or paradise for the Kashmiri community,” he said.
The Kashmiri Pandits community in the United States rejoiced the Indian government's move, saying that this paves the way for their return to the homeland soon.
“The move by the Indian government will also improve the security situation with respect to cross border terrorism and bring peace, harmony and stability in Jammu-Kashmir, now a new Union Territory of India,” said Vijay Sazawal from the Indo-American Kashmir Forum.
Indo-European Kashmir Forum (IEKF) based in London and Geneva, and the Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum (ICKF) based in Ottawa, supported the government's decision, saying that at last Kashmiri minorities, especially the Kashmiri Pandits, will get justice and be able to repossess their ancestral lands from where they were driven out in 1989-1990.
Jeevan Zutshi from Kashmir Task Force said, "not only the Kashmir problem has been solved with this historic abrogation of article 370 but it also vindicates all Kashmiris, of all faiths, some of whom lost their lives due to turbulence and some, like Kashmiri Pandits, who had lost their roots completely."
The community members anticipate that “these constitutional amendments will enable to get justice, reclaim ancestral homeland, and reverse ethnic cleansing.” the community members anticipate.
By Sowmya Sangam