India has successfully defeated insurgencies in Punjab and the Northeast and it is now time to strengthen New Delhi's fight against insurgencies in Kashmir, columnist Sunanda Vashisht told a US Congressional hearing on Human Rights in Washington on Thursday. Terrorists trained by Pakistan had caused "ISIS level of horror and brutality" in the Kashmir Valley long before the West was even introduced to the brutalities of radical Islamic terror, Ms Vashisht said, adding that international cooperation in India's fight against terror would also solve the human rights problem in the state.
"India's democratic credentials are unmatched. The country has successfully, in a democratic setup, defeated insurgencies in Punjab and the northeast. It is time to strengthen India against such insurgencies and the human rights problems will be solved forever," Ms Vashisht told the hearing organised by Tom Lantos HR Commission. This is the second hearing by US Congress in the last three weeks on Kashmir, which has been under massive security restrictions since August 5, when the government announced the end of special status to the state and split it into two union territories.
India has "not occupied" Kashmir and Kashmir was always an integral part of India, she said. "India is not just a 70-year-old identity, but a 5000-year-old civilisation. There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India."
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