American Lawmakers Act Against India Over Kashmir

After raising protest in a letter to President Trump, now American lawmakers have acted legally against India over the Kashmir issue urging for US intervention.

American Lawmakers act against India over Kashmir
American Lawmakers act against India over Kashmir

Senate Letter on Kashmir

On 12th September 2019, in a letter addressed to President Trump, Senators Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young, Ben Cardin and Lindsay Graham said with each passing day, the situation for the people of Kashmir becomes “increasingly difficult. Therefore, we ask that you call upon Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to fully restore telecommunications and internet services, lift the lockdown and curfew, and release Kashmiris detained pursuant to India’s revocation of Article 370.”

Another U.S. Senator Bob Casey said, “I am committed to promoting democracy, human rights and self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Accordingly, both India and Pakistan should refrain from incendiary actions that undermine security and human rights in the region.”

“The Trump administration’s failure to appoint a U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan or an Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs has left the United States unprepared and ill-equipped to engage meaningfully to ensure the rights and safety of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Casey said.

US Senate Letter on Kashmir
US Senate Letter on Kashmir
US Senate Letter on Kashmir
US Senate Letter on Kashmir

The senators in their letter also said, “The United States has a vital role to play in facilitating a resolution to this humanitarian crisis, and we urge you to act swiftly. Once the urgent humanitarian situation has been addressed, we hope the U.S. can play a constructive role in helping resolve the underlying disputes between the two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan.”

In another statement, Congressman Eric Swalwell said the strife in Kashmir was not just about India and Pakistan, but about an issue that has worldwide military, economic and moral consequences. “The United States must show patient diplomacy to de-escalate the rhetoric and ensure these two nuclear powers do not reach a point of no return. This can be progressively achieved beginning with measures such as the immediate restoration of the ability for Kashmiris to communicate with their families and by working toward re-establishment of democratic governance,” Mr. Swalwell said.

Legislative Action over Kashmir

In what could become the first step towards legislative action by American lawmakers against India on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, now the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has added an appeal to end what it calls a “humanitarian crisis” in Kashmir in its report ahead of the annual Foreign Appropriations Act for 2020.

The amendment was proposed by Senator Chris Van Hollen, who visited Delhi this week as a part of a congressional delegation that discussed the Kashmir situation as well as India-U.S. bilateral relations, trade ties and defence purchases with key officials.

According to the report, which was submitted to the Senate by Lindsey Graham, senior Senator and key Republican leader known for his close ties to President Donald Trump, the committee on Appropriations “notes with concern the current humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and calls on the Government of India to: fully restore telecommunications and Internet services; lift its lockdown and curfew; and release individuals detained pursuant to the Government’s revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.”

What makes the report as well as the tough language on Kashmir more startling is that the document was submitted on September 26, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was still in the US, and came just a few days after his joint address at the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston with Mr. Trump, as well as their bilateral meeting in New York.

“This amendment, which was accepted unanimously by the bipartisan committee, is a strong expression of concern by the Senate about the situation in Kashmir and sends the signal that we are closely monitoring the human rights situation there, and would like to see the Government of India take those concerns seriously,” Mr. Van Hollen told The Hindu, adding that he had “hoped to share his concerns privately” with Prime Minister Modi, but had not been able to meet him.

Mr. Van Hollen had met with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in Washington last week and Senator Bob Menendez, also a part of the delegation, met with Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal this week in Delhi. Both Senators have made public statements in the last two months on the Kashmir situation.

While it is unclear whether their concerns over Kashmir elicited any responses from the government, The Hindu has learnt that Senator Van Hollen was rebuffed when requested permission to visit Srinagar in an effort to assess the situation on the ground.

When asked, MEA officials said the Ministry of Home Affairs handled such requests. No diplomat or foreign journalist has yet been given clearance to visit Kashmir since the government’s decision on Article 370 on August 5.

Kashmir Conflict – An Anglo American Operation

The Kashmir conflict is the extension of a longstanding Anglo American policy to establish a military base in Kashmir, specifically an Air Base under the watchful eyes of the United Nations – a policy drafted by none other than Mountbatten himself.

Chester Bowles, the former US Ambassador to India in his book An Ambassador Reports, commented on the use of Kashmir as the American forward military outpost in Central Asia:

“When I was in Kashmir in the fall of 1952, some two-thirds of the officers on the cease-fire line were Americans, and not all of them handled themselves with discretion. The last negotiator appointed by the United Nations was a distinguished American, Frank Graham, and the Administrator who was selected by the United Nations to take charge of the Plebiscite, if and when it was concluded, was still another American, Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Despite the high caliber of these men, and all the goodwill in the world, the UN efforts to achieve a Kashmir settlement took on the character of an American operation. In a situation where passions ran high, we have not only failed to achieve settlement, but have come in for sharp criticism.”

In 1950, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the American Armed Forces had submitted a confidential report to President Truman recommending the construction of air bases in Kashmir and its conversion into an “independent” state under the trusteeship of the United Nations. Dr. T.G. Spear, Fellow of Selwyn College, speaking at the Cambridge branch meeting of the United Nations Association on December 13, 1951 declared:

“Turn the vale into an independent state, an Asiatic Switzerland. According to the American plan for an “independent Kashmir”, the international status of the valley is, therefore, designed to be so determined that in reality it finds itself not only completely dependent on American military and financial resources but also totally subservient to it as its protectorate.

Under the garb of ensuring the “independence” of Kashmir of protecting it against external aggression and of turning it into the “Switzerland of the East”, a direct stronghold of the United States would come to be imposed on it through the seemingly innocuous agency of the American-dominated United Nations. The so-called “independence” of Kashmir guaranteed by the United Nations was, therefore a euphemism for United States’ control over it.

American Military Base in Kashmir

Furthering the Anglo American policy of a military base in Kashmir, discussions are underway for the deployment of American missiles in Asia. To this extent US Defense Chief Mark Esper has stated in very clear terms that, “The US is looking to deploy new ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia. We would like to deploy a capability sooner rather than later”.

Esper asserted during his Senate confirmation hearing that Washington needed more bases throughout Indo-Pacific region – spanning the entirety of the Indian and Pacific oceans. “We must be present in the region. Not everywhere but in key locations. This means looking at how we expand our military bases”, Pentagon Chief Mark Esper on new military bases in Indo-Pacific – stretching from west coast of US to western shores of India. Australia, South Korea and Philippines have categorically rejected US demand for the deployment of American ground-based missiles on their soil.

Pentagon Policy

The hidden agenda behind Kashmir solution was drafted in a Pentagon policy paper that states:

“We will seek to prevent development of nuclear arms race on Indian subcontinent. We should work to have both countries India & Pakistan adhere to NPT and place their nuclear facilities under IAEA. We should discourage Indian hegemonic aspirations over other states in South Asia and Indian Ocean. A constructive US Pakistani military relationship will be important element in our strategy to promote stable security conditions in Southwest Asia and Central Asia.”

Economic Penetration of Kashmir

The contemporary plan for Kashmir can be traced backed to secret London meetings where a blueprint for the Return of the East India Company was drafted. What we’re witnessing now is the second phase of the project gone awry.

In the late 90s secret meetings took place in London where the blueprint for the ‘development’ of an entire Indian state was envisioned. Called Vision 2020, the scheme was the brainchild of an American consultancy firm born out of US military – McKinsey. It was supposed to be a role model and exported to other states of India and later to the entire developing world. Although amidst widespread opposition the people of Andhra Pradesh destroyed this ‘world’s most dangerous economic experiment’ dubbed at the time as ‘the return of the East India Company’.

Kicked out of Andhra Pradesh, now Kashmir seem to have been their new hunting ground or if you prefer – Special Economic Zone. At least two of the Big Four are reported to have been directly involved in the big-ticket Kashmir Development Plan – Ernst & Young (E&Y) as knowledge partner and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as media management partner. E&Y will be responsible to do the documentation of various policies, sectoral policies and other incentives available in the State.

Although the exact nature of their involvement in Kashmir has not been revealed to the general public, what is known is that huge amount of funds are to be channelled via London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Malaysia – all known tax havens.

GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations

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