Hindu Americans welcome House Resolution highlighting plight of Hindus in Kashmir
Washington, D.C. (August 4, 2011) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) applauded Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) for introducing House Resolution 387 (H.Res. 387), “[r]ecognizing that the religious freedom and human rights violations of Kashmiri Pandits has been ongoing since 1989.” A similar resolution taking up the cause of the Pandits, or Kashmiri Hindus, that were attacked and forced to flee the Kashmir valley since 1989, was introduced by Congressman Pallone, and co-sponsored by Congressmen Mike Honda (D-CA) and Pete Stark (D-CA), in 2010.
"While too many policy makers in Washington D.C. do little to highlight the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, Congressman Pallone has taken the lead in raising awareness about this critical matter,” said HAF’s Director, Samir Kalra, Esq. “HAF is pleased that an issue it has pursued with Congressman Pallone’s help for several years has been introduced in the House again.”
H.Res. 387, which has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, condemns extremist violence in India’s state of Jammu and Kashmir and demands that the terrorist infrastructure in the region be dismantled. It also notes that the Hindu population in the Kashmir Valley has declined from 400,000 in 1989 to less than 4,000 today, and many of them still live in refugee camps in other parts of India.
"The introduction of H.Res. 387 is not only significant for Kashmiri Hindus and the Hindu American community, but also furthers America’s commitment to promoting religious freedom around the world,” continued Kalra. “We are grateful to the Indo-American Kashmir Forum (IAKF) for working collaboratively with HAF in keeping attention focused on the plight of Kashmiri Hindus.”
According to several security analysts and intelligence reports, the campaign of violence and intimidation conducted by foreign terrorist organizations in Jammu and Kashmir has been supported and funded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency.
"Any discussion on the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir cannot ignore the human rights of 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus, who were ethnically cleansed from the Kashmir Valley by Islamic extremist groups based in Pakistan,” said Jay Kansara, HAF’s Washington based Associate Director. “The recent arrest of Ghulam Nabi Fai of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) for allegedly lobbying on behalf of the ISI once again highlights the destructive and mendacious role Pakistan has played in Kashmir.”
HAF leaders and supporters will ask several members of Congress to support this measure during HAF’s annual Advocacy Days events in Washington later this year, and the Foundation is urging all Americans committed to human rights concerns and religious freedom to contact their Congressional representatives in support of H.Res. 387.