Kashmir in Crisis

Join us in asking Congress to take action

August 7, 2019


Overview

The Himalayan territory of Kashmir has long-been a source of dispute between India and Pakistan -- both of which are now nuclear powers that have already fought two wars over the region. Although the United Nations has maintained for decades that the political status of Kashmir be determined by the Kashmiri people, just this week, India ordered tens of thousands of more troops into Kashmir, unilaterally put political figures under house arrest, ordered tourists to leave, closed schools, placed everyone under curfew, and cut off all access to communication including landlines, broadband, internet, cell phones, and the news media.

India unilaterally gutted Article 370, a constitutional provision that granted Kashmir semi-autonomous status and prevented non-Kashmiris from owning property in Kashmir. Many believe this is meant to change the ethnic demographics of Kashmir and eventually eradicate Kashmir’s identity and political will. Kashmir is at the center of a potential nuclear global conflict, with the U.S. largely allied with India and with China largely allied with Pakistan.

Join us and ICNA in asking Congress to make Kashmir a priority!

Americans Held in Kashmir Incommunicado

Several U.S. citizens from the Los Angeles area are currently stuck in Kashmir. Although there are some initial reports of individuals being able to access the airport and leave Kashmir, the Los Angeles Kashmiri community has been unable to communicate with most of them, leaving us to wonder about their safety, health, ability to obtain food and access to other basic life necessities.

Americans Unable to Communicate with Relatives in Kashmir

Hundreds of Kashmiri- Americans in the Los Angeles area are unable to communicate with relatives in Kashmir due to the communications black-out imposed by India. We are in the dark about whether our relatives are safe and whether they have any freedom of movement or ability to access health care, prescription medications, food, and water. We do not know whether basic municipal services like waste and sewer systems are functioning.

Request for congressional action:

We ask that Congress take the following steps:

1) Make an immediate public statement about the crisis in Kashmir and urge the government of India to lift the curfew, remove the communications blackout, remove people from house arrest, and backtrack on the elimination of Article 370;

2) Urge various governmental entities - including the State Department - to pressure India to remove the communications blackout and to assist Kashmiri Americans in communicating with their loved ones abroad;

3) Sponsor a congressional resolution condemning India’s recent actions and the ethnic and religious bigotry promoted by Prime Minister Modi and his government;

4) Hold a hearing on the intelligence committee, if appropriate, or partner with colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee or Homeland Security Committee to hold a congressional hearing on the crisis in Kashmir and the threat of nuclear war; and

5) Push for the demilitarization of Kashmir and partner with the United Nations to actualize the Kashmiri right to self-determination. 

What can you do to help?

1) Learn more about the history of the region and the conflict through our community partners, standwithkashmir.org.

2) Write to your congressional representative and ask them to make Kashmir a Priority at mpac.org/standwithkashmir

3) Share the message within your social circles in person, and online. When posting on social media, tag influential journalists, political advocates, and policy makers in your posts. http://standwithkashmir.org has a social media toolkit for download.

 




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