By: Radhakrishna NS
A US Congressional sub-committee on Monday (30) said it will hold a hearing on human rights situation in South Asia with focus on Kashmir on October 22.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells, who oversees all State Department policy towards South Asia will testify at the hearing, Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asia, said.
“The hearing will focus on the Kashmir Valley, where many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet, and telephone communications have been interrupted,” Sherman said in a statement.
The panel will also review the humanitarian situation in Kashmir and whether Kashmiris have adequate supplies of food, medicine and other essentials, he added.
Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Scott Busby, who overseas human rights efforts in South Asia will also testify.
“We have invited other State Department officials and we also expect to hear from private human rights activists on the issues,” Sherman said.
“In August, I had an opportunity to meet Americans from Kashmir Valley in the San Fernando Valley, along with my colleague Congressman André Carson (D-IN). We heard stories of difficulties encountered by my constituents and others, and the fears they have for their loved ones. Since then I have had several additional meetings with Kashmiri Americans,” he said.
“I look forward to learning more about human rights in Kashmir,” he said adding it will also focus on the Tamils of Sri Lanka, the human rights situation in Pakistan, including the Sindh Province and Muslims in Assam.