CALIFORNIA: Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asia Brad Sherman on Saturday said the hearing on the issue of Indian occupied Kashmir will take place after the United Nations General Assembly session.
Speaking to a private news channel, the Congressman said, “We are waiting by then [after Congress reconvenes] so that we can get high-level participation of from high-level state department officials, including the chief state department official for South Asia.”
“I wish we could be doing the hearings now but in order to get the participation not only of human rights NGOs, but getting the State Department as well and in that case, we have to wait till October,” he said.
When asked if India should be made answerable for the curfew it has imposed in the valley, with people not having any access to medicines, etc, Sherman said, “India should do everything possible to protect its people and especially those who are vulnerable and have medical conditions.”
The discussion will be on the human rights issues around the world and it’s important for the United States to discussion what is going on in Kashmir, he added.
In response to a question about whether the hearing will address the issue of repealing of Article 370, the congressman said, more of the focus will be on the immediate things that are happening on the ground.
However, he added there was no way to avoid a discussion on the article. “There is no way to avoid a discussion on article 370 which started the whole process,” Sherman said, “But our focus is on the human rights and I can hope that by the time we have the hearings that the situation is ameliorated but if it doesn’t it will be worse.”
He added, “The only thing worse than going 42 days without your medicine is going 60 days without your medicine.”
Last month Sherman had announced, the US House Foreign Relations Committee soon hold a hearing on the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir which has been under a clampdown since August 5.
He has said, “The hearing will focus on the humanitarian situation in Kashmir, where many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet and telephone communications have been interrupted.”