Members of Congress concerned over Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, human rights abuse

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee


WASHINGTON: A group of members of Congress urged the White House and Congressional leadership to raise concerns with the Pakistan government’s support of terrorist organizations as well as various human rights abuse cases.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and Co-Chair of the House India Caucus, last month led a bi-partisan letter signed by 10 Members of Congress addressed to President Donald Trump that stated: “Since 2001, the United States has given Pakistan more than $30 billion in various kinds of assistance. This aid was supposed to improve social and economic conditions in Pakistan. as well as promote good governance. These improvements have not occurred.”

The letter also states that “other injustices in Sindh province are deliberately carried out by the Pakistani state and its supporters”.

“This is the case with forced conversions, where young Hindu and Christian girls are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam,” it stated.

In addition to Rep. Sherman, the letter was signed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Jan Schakosky (D-IL), David Price (R-NC), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Juan Vargas (D-CA), David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

Hindu American Foundation also sent letters to the White House and earlier to Capitol Hill calling out Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India and the region. The HAF letter highlights the “plight of Hindus who are indigenous to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a State Department designated Country of Particular Concern” and “Pakistan’s Hindu, Christian, Ahmadiyya Muslim, and Sikh minorities” who are “victimized by state-sponsored terrorism and religious persecution”.

As the world approaches the 30th anniversary of the persecution, murders, and ethnic cleansing of more than 350,000 Hindu Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in 1989-90, HAF has launched a campaign of educational events, materials, videos, and advocacy to push this issue to the forefront and amplify the voice of Kashmir’s indigenous Hindus.

“Hindu Americans look forward to the United States providing moral support to India in its quest to achieve a peaceful and just resolution of the Kashmir conflict. As India continues to take constructive steps towards that goal, the support of the United States and the international community is vital,” stated Samir Kalra, HAF managing director.

“It is no secret that the biggest hurdle to achieving that just resolution is Pakistan’s decades-long proxy war against India using extremists to launch bombings, targeted killings, and foment chaos that has taken the lives of thousands of innocent Kashmiri Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. As long as Pakistan continues to harbor, finance, and support terrorist networks, Hindu Americans will continue to work with our elected officials in zeroing out US taxpayer funded military aid to Pakistan,” Kalra said.