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Two US lawmakers seek immediate end to IOK communications blackout

Two US lawmakers seek immediate end to IOK communications blackout
Two US lawmakers demand to immediately end the communication blackout along with the release of those detained.

Two US lawmakers have expressed concerns over the situation in Kashmir, and urged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to convince India to immediately end the communication blockade and release those who have been detained.

In a letter to Secretary Pompeo, Pramila Jayapal, the first and the only Indian-American Congresswoman in the House of Representatives, and Congressman James P McGovern said the international media and independent human rights observers must immediately be allowed into Jammu and Kashmir.

"We urge you to work across the Administration to press the Indian Government to immediately end its communications blackout of Kashmir, expedite the process of reviewing and releasing individuals 'preventatively' detained, ensure hospitals have access to life-saving medicines and protect the rights of the Kashmiri people to freedom of assembly and worship," the letter states.

The two lawmakers told Mr. Pompeo that they have significant concerns about the prevailing "crisis" in Kashmir.

"In particular, we are concerned about credible reports from journalists and advocates on the ground that the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse," they said.

They both showed deep concern on the credible reports of a humanitarian crisis in Jammu & Kashmir and urged India to uphold basic human rights and due process.

Restrictions were imposed in occupied Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, as India abrogated Article 370 ending the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir.