WASHINGTON: The developing situation in Kashmir, controlled by India, could adversely affect the Afghan peace process, warns a group of US experts. UU., Since a subcommittee of Congress scheduled a hearing to review the situation in the valley.
"Pakistan has been cautious of Indian intentions in Afghanistan for decades, and this turn of events in Kashmir will cause Islamabad to distrust its neighbor much more," warns the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) based in Washington in its Kashmir report.
"Pakistan has played an important role in the recent peace negotiations between the United States and Afghanistan with the [Afghan] Taliban The Kashmir problem can not only subtract Pakistani resources and political will from Afghanistan, but could also be used as a lever to persuade the United States to intervene with India, ”the report adds.
The Afghan peace talks are in their final stages and the delegations of the United States and the Taliban are holding their ninth meeting in Doha, Qatar, to finalize an agreement. But Doha reports indicate that Washington may not reach an agreement by September 1, as expected. The delay will further improve Pakistan's role in persuading the Taliban to remain committed to the United States.
Congress will review the humanitarian situation in the region
Washington also hopes that Islamabad convinces the Taliban to have direct talks with the Afghan government. Taliban leaders see the Kabul government as an American puppet and refuse to hold direct talks with them.
On Friday afternoon, Congressman Brad Sherman, president of the House Subcommittee on Asia, announced that he will soon hold a hearing on human rights in South Asia. "The hearing will also focus on the Kashmir Valley, where many political activists have been arrested and everyday life, the Internet and telephone communications have been interrupted," he said. “The audience will review the humanitarian situation in Kashmir. Can people get food, medical attention, etc.?
Sherman invited the Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, who oversees the policy of the US Department of State on South Asia, Sam Brownback, the General Ambassador for International Religious Freedom and other officials of the State Department of States United.
While US lawmakers are still trying to determine what caused the Indian government to revoke the guarantees that the Indian constitution provided to Kashmir, the CSIS report attributes it to the political ideology of the ruling BJP party.
The report notes that these guarantees "have long been an ideological break point for the BJP, which sees India as a fundamentally Hindu nation and has doubts about a Muslim majority state with special privileges."
The congressman, known in Congress for his critical views on Pakistan, said his Kashmir voters convinced him to focus on Kashmir during this hearing. "I had the opportunity to meet with Americans from the Kashmir Valley just a week ago in the San Fernando Valley, along with my colleague Congressman Andre Carson," Sherman said in a statement. “We hear stories of difficulties encountered by my constituents and others, and the fears they have for their loved ones. I hope to learn more about human rights in Kashmir. ”
Earlier this week, Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, tweeted that he had heard from his constituents that they could not communicate with their families in Kashmir. “Democracies like India should not participate in a communications blackout that lasted more than three weeks. We need to scale, not hide what is happening, "said Lieu.
Even the Indian media recognized that "the number of legislators commenting on Kashmir could possibly increase when [US] The Congress, which is in recess, meets again in September. ”
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, tweeted that she was "excited to see so many members join us to draw attention to what is happening in Kashmir." He encouraged US citizens to "continue calling their members and asking them to speak." We look forward to opening India. ”
But those who support the cause of Kashmir in the United States Congress also urged the Kashmiri and Pakistanis to "ensure that militants do not get involved in this peaceful struggle," as one of them said. They fear that militancy may cause cashmere to lose the support they have in the United States.
Posted on Dawn, September 1, 2019