Congressman Suozzi and Leaders of the Indian American community:
Thank you for coming here in such a large number at such a short notice. This is reflective of the strong sentiment of we Indian Americans, which have been hurt by the letter written by Congressman Suozzi to Secretary of State Pompeo.
In fact, we are agitated by the tone and tenor of the letter. We demand that the Congressman withdraw this letter.
We believe Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India. The removal of discriminatory Article 370 and Article 35 A of the Indian constitution – which by the way was a temporary provision that got to live for 70 years – was purely constitutional and reflects the will of the people of India. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha by an overwhelming majority. The debate on this was live. The entire world watched it. Even members of the opposition party voted for it.
Congressman Suozzi, I will like to tell you that, revocation of Articles 370 and 35A and reorganization of the State has not made any changes in either the international boundary or the line of control.
Secondly, Congressman Suozzi, the internal matter of India has nothing to do with the situation in Afghanistan. I will like to draw your attention to the statement issued by the Taliban in which it distances itself from the Pakistani effort to link and says that Afghanistan and Kashmir should not be linked together.
Yes, India has deployed a large number of troops in Kashmir and taken several steps that has caused temporary inconvenience to the people there. But these steps have been taken to maintain peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir. This is because, we Indian Americans believe, of the past bitter experiences that India has had.
Congressman Souzzi, I hope you know it very well, thousands of terrorists are as we speak being trained inside Pakistan by several terrorist organization like Lashkar-e-Taiba or LeT, which has been declared a terrorist organization by the UN and the United States to create disturbance inside Jammu and Kashmir. These terrorists and terrorist groups are being provided shelter and their armed training and finances are being facilitated by the State of Pakistan.
I hope you are aware of not only Congressional records, but also statements made by the top administration officials. For the past several years, the US has been demanding Pakistan to take “irreversible and decisive actions” against terrorist groups.
India has deployed additional troops to stop infiltration of these terrorist groups from across the border to create panic and havoc inside Jammu and Kashmir. We all know the track record of Pakistan in this regard. If any letter you need to write to Secretary Pompeo should be about the nefarious actions of Pakistan.
What India has done is within its boundary. And Pakistan including its leader Prime Minister Imran Khan – please listen to his speech in his parliament – are openly threatening against India, including the N-word. Please use your influence, if any, to ask Prime Minister to stop interfering in India’s internal affairs and take decisive and irreversible actions against terrorists.
Last but not the least, situation in Kashmir is improving. As such, we Indian Americans demand that you immediately withdraw this letter written to Secretary Pompeo.
(Jagdish Sewhani, President, The American India Public Affairs Committee)