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Kashmir At Congress: A Critical Analysis

By Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair of Justice For All Free Kashmir

Kashmir’s cause is moving forward thanks to American Muslims and our neighbors making freedom, justice, and human rights their priority.

After decades Kashmir was a subject of a hearing at the US Congress. 

The Asia Subcommittee of the House Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia” on Oct.22, 2019.  

The head of the Indian Caucus and the Subcommittee, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), chaired the hearing. Panelists included the Alice Wells, Acting Secretary on South and Central Asia & Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Robert Destro. The second half of the hearing focused on testimony from human rights organizations and representatives from the region. 

Hearings From Muslim American Perspective:

  • Considering that the highly organized Indian right-wing paramilitary RSS is aligned with right-wing extremists in the USA, it was a first significant show of concern by Muslim Americans who stood in support of Kashmiris.
  • At least one Muslim American leader was a part of the panel at the hearing.

On Kashmir Considerations:

  • There was good support for the human rights of Kashmiris.
  • Not a single Kashmiri Muslim addressed the hearing.
  • The right of self-determination for Kashmiris, however, was not brought up by any Congressperson.
  • Ranking member of the committee Rep. Yoho (R) of Florida explicitly declared Kashmir to be an internal matter of India which was neither contradicted by any expert, nor state department, nor any congressperson.

Hearings on Indian Minorities issues: 

  • U.S. State Dept leaders did not say a single word about what Indian minorities are facing in India.
  • Questions were raised by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar about 1.9 million losing their citizenship in Assam 
  • Not a single word was uttered by the State Department about the lynching of Muslims, Dalits, and Christians on the accusation of eating beef. However, three Congresspersons raised the issue

From Pakistan’s Positions:

  • No one talked about Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir.
  • Pakistan, however, was successful in bringing the first negative light on India if it was its goal.
  • A Sindhi American testimony was written exactly on the Indian talking points bringing attention to Pakistan minorities while remaining silent on the critical issues of Indian minorities.

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