US Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden has called upon India to take necessary steps to restore the rights of Kashmiris who have been living under lockdown since August last year.
In a paper titled “Joe Biden’s agenda for the Muslim American communities” posted on Biden’s camping website, the 77-year-old said, “Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weaken democracy.”
“These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy,” it added.
India annexed occupied Kashmir on August 5, 2019, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international law, bifurcating the region into union territories. The move plunged the disputed Kashmir region into a virtual blackout after communication and internet services were cut off, political leaders, activists and even children were detained, health infrastructure came to a halt, journalists were barred from reporting and all civil liberties were suspended.
The Indian government has also denied access to all UN and non-UN humanitarian agencies and civil society organizations.
So far, Biden is leading President Donald Trump in all the November presidential elections polls.
In the campaign policy paper, Biden has also expressed disappointment with the Hindu Nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over its anti-Muslim measures like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“Joe Biden has been disappointed by the measures that the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act into law,” the paper read.
“These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy,” it added. (Web Desk)