US diplomat accuses Pakistan of using terrorists to change Kashmir status quo


WASHINGTON: A former US diplomat Alyssa Ayres has accused Pakistan of using terrorist groups to change the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir, which has undermined every peace effort and impacted human rights negatively. He was Barrack Obama-era diplomat.

Alyssa Ayres

In a statement to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Non-proliferation, Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, on Monday said the situation is complex and tragic in Kashmir. The committee will schedule a hearing on “Stemming a Receding Tide: Human Rights and Democratic Values in Asia” on Tuesday.

There is documented history of Pakistan-based terrorists active in Indian-administered Kashmir, and Kashmiris and the Indian government continue to face a difficult challenge of border security and terrorism in this region, Ms. Aryes said.

 “Terrorism has undermined every effort at peace in the last two decades and continues to create insecurity. I would also like to acknowledge the longstanding suffering of the Kashmiri Pandits, a Hindu community driven from their Kashmiri homeland in the early years of the insurgency at the beginning of the 1990s, she said.

Ms. Ayres said the Indian government revoked Article 370 last year to tackle terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The move was followed by deployment of additional troops, statewide communications and internet shutdown and several Kashmiri leaders were placed in detention.

More than a year on, it is hard to see improvements on that front, she said adding that the impact on democracy and human rights has been negative.