With US presidential elections coming closer, the fight for the Democratic Party nomination is peaking. Current second-placed Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren is sandwiched between former US Vice President Joe Biden and the left-leaning Bernie Sanders. Warren became the second Democratic frontrunner after Sanders to speak up for the rights of the people of Kashmir on Saturday.
Warren tweeted on the situation in the state which will become a union territory on October 31, saying she’s concerned at the communication restrictions that have been in place for almost 2 months. She said the rights of the people must be respected.
The Democrats have consistently harped on India’s poor human rights record, though former US President Barack Obama moved heaven and earth for India to be allowed entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which alas came undone by Chinese veto.
The US-India partnership has always been rooted in our shared democratic values. I'm concerned about recent events in Kashmir, including a continued communications blackout and other restrictions. The rights of the people of Kashmir must be respected.https://t.co/K7JDmAjQg7
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 5, 2019
Bernie Sanders has spoken up for the right of the people of Kashmir whose rights have been curtailed following the dilution of Article 370 by Indian Parliament on August 5. On the day of the Howdy Modi event in Houston, USA, which was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, Sanders wrote an oped in the Houston Chronicle calling on the US government to talk of human rights abuses by India in the state.
In that article, Sanders had sarcastically said whenever India and the USA are mentioned most times the cliché quote that the people of India and the USA share a great friendship. But there is no discussion on New Delhi’s human rights record, the Vermont senator had said.
Biden is yet to utter anything on Kashmir. US President Trump has repeatedly spoken of his offer to mediate on Kashmir if both India and Pakistan wanted. The Indian establishment has fielded it away by saying the changes in the statute with regard to Kashmir were India’s internal business and that if there are talks to be held, they will be with Islamabad without mediation, and when Pakistan cuts support to non-state terrorist groups by providing them safe haven and training.
The Ministry of External Affairs is yet to react to the Warren tweet but when similar noises came from UK’s Labour Party, it has been swift in dismissing it.