Article: Joe Biden’s statement on the rights of Kashmiris alarms Indians

Article: Joe Biden’s statement on the rights of Kashmiris alarms Indians

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Democratic
presidential nominee and former Vice President, Joe Biden, wants India to take
necessary steps to restore rights of Kashmiris under siege since August 5, 2019
when India annexed the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

Joe
Biden has also expressed disappointment over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act
(CAA) and the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in
Assam.

“These
measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and
with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy”, according to the
policy paper – Joe Biden’s agenda for seven-million strong Muslim American
community, posted recently on his campaign website.

Joe
also understands the pain Muslim-Americans feel towards what’s happening in
Muslim-majority countries and countries with significant Muslim populations,
the policy paper said adding: “The forced detention of over a million Uyghur
Muslims in western China is unconscionable. As President, Joe will speak
out against the internment camps in Xinjiang and hold the people and companies
complicit in this appalling oppression accountable. Additionally, systematic
discrimination and atrocities against Burma’s Rohingya Muslim minority is
abhorrent and undermines peace and stability.”

On
the Kashmir issue, Joe Biden said the Indian government should take all
necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. “Restrictions
on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down
the Internet, weaken democracy.”

India abrogated the special status of the disputed
Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 last year
and bifurcated it into two Union territories — Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. India
has claimed that the abrogation of Article 370 is its “internal
matter”.

Tellingly, China has
also protested India’s unilateral moves in the disputed Jammu & Kashmir and
declaring Ladakh a separate Indian territory.

The
policy paper also said: “Joe Biden has been disappointed by the measures that
the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the
National Register of Citizens in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship
Amendment Act into law. These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long
tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious
democracy.”

According to Press Trust
of India (PTI) a group of Hindu Americans has reached out to the Biden campaign
expressing resentment to the language used against India and urged it to
reconsider the views. The group has also sought a similar policy paper on Hindu
Americans.

Reacting to the policy paper, Ajay Jain Bhutoria, who is
also on the National Finance Committee for Biden told the PTI there are groups within
various elected officials groups in the US pushing language and agenda’s
highlighting misinformation and damaging facts on how India handled its own
internal matter on Kashmir, Ladakh or immigration reforms related to NRC.

Rishi Bhutada, board member of the Hindu
American Political Action Committee, was quoted by the PTI as saying that Biden
campaign is missing the much needed context about what he called Pakistan-sponsored
cross border terrorism in regards to Kashmir.

It is also missing how the
CAA is a good-faith effort to remedy the status of approximately 30,000
persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who
sought refuge in India, have no other path to citizenship, and no chance of
returning to their home countries safely, Bhutada said.

OIC
states asked to raise Kashmir issue with India

Joe Biden’s statement on the
rights of Kashmiris came days after the 57-member Organization of Islamic
Conference (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir called upon the OIC member
states to raise the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in their bilateral engagements
with India with a view to safeguarding the fundamental human rights of the
Kashmiri people, and ensuring expeditious implementation of the relevant UN
Security Council Resolutions.

The
Emergency Virtual Meeting of the Contact Group was held on June 22 to take up
the worsening situation in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting
was chaired by the OIC Secretary General, Dr Yousaf Al-Othaimeen, attended by
the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan,
Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The
communique’ issued after the meeting, deplored the extended, months long,
lockdown of the Kashmiri people and communications blackout since August 5,
2019, and suppression of Kashmiris through arbitrary detentions, fake
“encounters,” so-called “cordon-and-search” operations designed to
inflict collective punishment on entire neighborhoods, and indiscriminate use
of force, including use of pellet guns, against unarmed Kashmiri protestors.

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Author and journalist.
Author of
Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality;
Islam in the Post-Cold War Era;
Islam & Modernism;
Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America.
Currently working as free lance journalist.
Executive Editor of American (more…)
 

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