WASHINGTON, April 20: The resolution on Kashmir adopted by the New Hampshire assembly “has now reached” the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate for consideration, according to sources on Sunday.
The resolution was earlier adopted by the Senate and was subsequently put on the official record of the US Congress, as an important document.
The New Hampshire resolution was a commendable step, as it highlighted the importance of the resolution of festering Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, and has asked the Congress to open an inquiry into the Kashmir problem. It was moved by the State Representative Robert Giuda, and State Representative Saghir Tahir.
The resolution stressed the need for “increased diplomacy to achieve a just, peaceful, and rapid resolution of the conflict between India and Pakistan” relating to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
While voicing its utmost concern over the “documented and unspeakable” human rights abuses in Kashmir, it urged “cessation of atrocities against the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and, as a result, to reduce the threat of nuclear war in South Asia.”
It read: “...the New Hampshire general court, fully mindful of the sacred obligation embodied in our state motto, “Live Free or Die,” respectfully requests that the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives immediately initiate hearings to discern all relevant facts and circumstances attendant to the Kashmiri conflict so as to facilitate its just, peaceful, and rapid resolution; to bring a cessation of atrocities against the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and to minimize the threat of nuclear war in Southwest Asia; and
“That the New Hampshire general court hereby calls upon all parties to this conflict to adhere to the principles of the United Nations Charter on Human rights forthwith, and grant observers from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch free and unrestricted access to the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir to monitor the status of human rights therein.”
The adoption of the resolution “caused a stir” in the ranks of Indian diplomats here, leading to denial of a visa request by lawmaker Robert Giuda to visit IHK, and the Indian Ambassador to US Lalit Mansingh Lal addressing the New Hampshire Speaker and Senate President protesting the adoption of the resolution on Kashmir, saying “the legislators did not have all the facts when they adopted the resolution.”
Pakistan Ambassador to US Ashraf Jehangir Qazi in his rebuttal stated that Pakistan concedes nothing to India over the Kashmir dispute, not even the boundaries between the Indian and Pakistan-controlled areas.
“There is only one country in the world that takes the position that Kashmir is an integral part of India, and that is India itself,” he said. —APP