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Published On: Sat, Oct 5th, 2019

Misery in Kashmir,’Rights of Kashmiris Must be Respected’:Elizabeth

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Elizabeth-Warren-Getty-784x441NEW DELHI : US senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Saturday expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir and the communication blackout which has been in effect for over two months now.
Mobile phone connections and internet facilities were snapped in the Valley on August 5 when the Centre revoked the state’s special status accorded to it by Article 370. The influential American politician’s statement comes a month after fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders expressed similar concerns.
India-US ties are “rooted in our shared democratic values”, said Ms Warren, one of the fiercest critics of US President Donald Trump, who she has often accused of undermining democracy. Voicing her concern, Warren said the rights of Kashmiri people must be respected.
“The US-India partnership has always been rooted in our shared democratic values. I’m concerned about recent events in Kashmir, including a continued communications blackout and other restrictions.  Children as young as nine detained, protests and tear gas, allegations of torture, businesses shut and no mobiles or internet: it’s now been two months of misery in the Kashmir Valley. India stripped…
Earlier in September, Sanders had asked the US government to “speak out boldly” in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution to resolve the issue while addressing an event hosted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Sanders had termed India’s action Kashmir as ‘unacceptable’ and had sought an immediate end to the communication blackout there.
“I’m concerned about recent events in Kashmir, including a continued communications blackout and other restrictions. The rights of the people of Kashmir must be respected,” she said in tweet. Two months of misery in Indian Kashmi
Senator Bernie Sanders, while speaking at a campaign rally last month, called for the lifting of the communication blockade in Kashmir. “I am deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir…” he said.
“The communication blockade must be lifted immediately and the US government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of UN backed peaceful resolution that supports the will of Kashmiri people,” said Mr Sanders.

The senator from Vermont once again invoked Kashmir during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US last month. In an op-ed for a local newspaper, he criticised Trump’s “deafening silence” on the clampdown in the state, the same day the US President shared stage with PM Modi at the mega ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston, Texas.
“I know that when a president stays silent in the face of religious persecution, repression and brutality, the dangerous message this sends to authoritarian leaders around the world is, ‘Go ahead, you can get away with it,'” Mr Sanders wrote in the Houston Chronicle.

To prevent any backlash, the centre also imposed massive security restrictions and took measures that included arresting politicians, posting extra troops and blocking phone and internet lines. Some of those curbs have been slowly relaxed, but mobile and internet communications in the Kashmir valley are largely still blocked.
(With Agency Inputs ).



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