US Congresswoman urges India, Pak to promote peace, protect human rights


WASHINGTON, Aug 16: After China asked for a “closed consultations” in the UN Security Council to discuss revocation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, a US Congresswoman urged India and Pakistan to take this opportunity to protect human rights and promote peace in the region.

According to a top UN diplomat, a request for such a meeting was submitted very recently, and could take place as early as Friday. The move by China, an all-weather ally of Pakistan, came after Islamabad wrote a letter seeking a meeting.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who is co-chair of Pakistani Congressional Caucus and also a member of the India Caucus, tweeted on Thursday, “Pakistan and India have a chance for peace and to protect human rights at the United Nations Security Council meeting tomorrow.”

“I’m urging, as someone who knows the region, for both nuclear powers to take this opportunity to protect human rights and to promote peace,” she wrote on the microblogging site.

On Thursday she attended the Independence Day celebrations at the Indian Consulate in Houston.

“In the spirit of (Mahatma) Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., we celebrate the 73rd Independence Day of India,” she wrote on Twitter.

India has categorically told the international community that its move to abrogate the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to “accept the reality”.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He had highlighted the Simla Agreement which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.

Pakistan formally called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday. (PTI)