• Sunday, August 18, 2019

U.S. Leaders Question Modi India on Kashmiri Rights

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by jericho, Aug 13, 2019 at 5:25 AM.

  1. jericho

    jericho FULL MEMBER

    May 12, 2010
    +1 / 805 / -1

    Almost unnoticed, two key leaders in Congress have questioned Modi’s India on Kashmiri rights. Indians and Pakistanis have been to quick to assume Kashmir is isolated and the world has turned a deaf ear to it. Indian’s action in taking away Kashmir’s special autonomy and flooding the area with armed occupiers is experienced by Kashmiris as ignored by the world. First, I will tell what the legislators said and, then second how it relates to reality in Kashmir, then who they are and why they matter.

    This was a joint statement, by Senator Robert Menendez, Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Their statement began with the thinnest possible veiling over a condemnation of what India does in Kashmir. “As the world’s largest democracy, India has an opportunity to demonstrate for all its citizens the importance of protecting and promoting equal rights” – of course, India has done the opposite, treating Kashmiris worse than anyone else in India – “including freedom of assembly, access to information and equal protections under the law.”

    Again, this puts the thinnest of veils over what India does in Kashmir. There is no freedom of assembly, when even a few Kashmiris try to stage a peaceful protest they are overwhelmed by Indian army and police wielding pellet guns. There is no access to information, India has cut the press, the Internet, and even land lines ruthlessly separating Kashmiris from all others. And, there is no equal protection, all the animosity toward Moslems of the BJP in India has been unleashed in Kashmir.

    And, the statement continues, “Transparency and political participation are the cornerstones of representative democracies, and we hope the Indian government will abide by these principles in Jammu and Kashmir.” Of course, Indian did the opposite. It did not consult with the Kashmiri Assembly before taking Kashmir’s autonomy. It gave no opportunity whatsoever for Kashmiris to politically participate. Not only did it take away, unconstitutionally, Kashmir’s right to consultation on legal measures, it downgraded Kashmir from a state to a federal territory.(For an excellent piece in Forbes.com, read by Mehrunnisa Want, “Kashmir Under Siege and Forced Into Silence While India Decides Its Future.”)

    So, who made this pronouncement and laid out harsh but valid criticism of Modi’s India? Let us start by conceding that President Trump and his officials did not say this. They let the occupation and destruction of autonomy be an internal matter for India. But Trump is severely compromised as a foreign affairs leader. He saw Modi as a sack of money to buy American arms which Trump can then brag about to his political base. He has complete and total ignorance abut Kashmir, saying off the cuff that he would mediate, which Modi’s India would never tolerate. And Modi is just his kind of guy – anti-Moslem, populist in rejecting inclusion for listening to ultra-Hindu-nationalists.

    Take these legislative leaders one at a time I was House General Counsel and intimately understand these positions and what they stand for..

    Elliott Engel is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The House is a major, major bastion of truth-telling and rights in the Trump United States. Americans are polarized, half would believe Trump, half would believe the House. Engel is not just any Representative. As chairman of that committee, he articulates the position of the House on this issue. In this statement, he tells the world what the House thinks of India and Kashmir.

    Bob Menendez is Ranking Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senate Democrats are a major, major bastion of truth-telling and rights in the Trump United States. Especially because the Senate is so evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, and nothing can move in the Senate over the filibuster of the Democrats, Menendez participates in whatever the Senate passes. As Ranking Democrat of that Senate Committee, he articulates the Senate Democratic position on this issue. In this statement, he joins Engel in telling the world what the House, and, the Senate Democrats, think of India and Kashmir.

    I am not saying that Engel and Menendez will halt the BJP in its tracks. Modi won a huge majority in the last election. The elimination of Kashmiri autonomy was planned meticulously, and carried out ruthlessly. That cannot be challenged right now, But the light of Kashmiri autonomy will not go out completely. It is reflected by lovers of freedom and rights in the world. There will always be a light for the Kashmiri people. American democracy will hold that light aloft.


    Charles Tiefer
    I am Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where I focus on government contracting and Congressional legislating. I served as Commissioner on the Congressionally-chartered Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which I did three missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, and over 20 televised hearings. My chief published work on government contracting is a leading 750 page legal casebook, Government Contracting Law in the Twenty-First Century. I have testified before Congressional committees as an expert many times about Government contracting, problem departments, and government personnel. I was General Counsel (Acting) of the House of Representatives, serving15 years in that office and its Senate counterpart, and published a 1000 page treatise, Congressional Practice and Procedure. I am publishing with University Press of America a new book, The Polarized Congress: The Post-Traditional Procedure of its Current Struggles. I graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. summa cum laude and from Harvard Law School with a J.D. magna cum laude, and served on the Harvard Law Review.

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  2. khansaheeb

    khansaheeb SENIOR MEMBER

    Dec 14, 2008
    +2 / 5,493 / -1
    United Kingdom
    Words with action are like a car without wheels, not leading anywhere.