US Senator Bernie Sanders, who is contesting for the Democratic nomination for the White House, on Saturday called for the Trump administration to “speak out boldly” in support of human rights in Kashmir and “UN-backed” resolution of the dispute that empowers the will of Kashmiris.
Addressing the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest organization representing muslims of north America, the senator also spoke about other areas of concern for the community such as Chinese interment of Xinjiang muslims, “independent and viable” state for Palestinians, and the chaos in Yemen.
Sanders was introduced to the gathering by his campaign manager Faiz Shakir, an American of Pakistani origin. It must be noted for context that India-American lawmaker Ro Khanna is the co-chairman of Sanders’s presidential campaign, but he has taken a completely different stand on the issue. “Kashmir is an internal matter for India’s democracy and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan needs to cool his heated statements and not escalate the matter into a war or a conflict,” he is reported to have said recently.
The senator’s remarks on Kashmir hewed close to the portrayal of the Kashmir situation by the government of Pakistan in its bid to seek international intervention and of the United Nations, even when the world body has itself reminded Pakistan of its commitments under the 1972 Simla Agreement, to resolve all disputes with India bilaterally.
“India’s action is unacceptable,” Sanders said. “The communications barrier must be lifted immediately and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in its support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people.”