Kashmir saw Islamic terror much before West: Indian columnist at US Congress

Sunanda Vashisht was speaking at the Congressional hearing organised by Tom Lantos HR Commission | ANI video grab

Kashmir has witnessed “ISIS-level of horror and brutality” even before the West was even introduced to the brutalities of radical Islamic terror, columnist Sunanda Vashisht told a US Congressional hearing on Human Rights in Washington on Thursday (November 15).

Stating that international cooperation in India’s fight against terror would solve the human rights problem in the state, Vashisht said, “India’s democratic credentials are unmatched. The country has successfully, in a democratic setup, defeated insurgencies in Punjab and the northeast. It is time to strengthen India against such insurgencies and the human rights problems will be solved forever”.

The hearing was organised by the Tom Lantos HR Commission. This is the second hearing by US Congress in the last three weeks on Kashmir, which has been under partial restrictions since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. The hearing mostly comprised Democrats, who have been more vocal in their criticism after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and split it into two union territories.

Stating that India has not occupied Kashmir, Vashisht said Kashmir was always an integral part of India. “India is not just a 70-year-old identity, but a 5,000-year-old civilisation. There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India”, she added.

On her comment on “ISIS level of horror and brutality” she had seen in Kashmir, the columnist said, “I am glad these hearings are happening here today because when my family and everyone like me lost our homes, our livelihood and our way of life, the world remained silent.”

Responding to Vashishit, Sheila Jackson Lee, a Congresswoman from Texas, asked for a pathway to ensure human rights in the region and sought the Indian government’s permission to allow US Congress members to visit the Valley.

(With inputs from agencies)