New Delhi: India has successfully defeated insurgencies in Punjab and the northeast within a democratic framework and it is now time to strengthen the country’s fight against terrorism in Kashmir, an Indian columnist appearing before a US Congressional hearing on Human Rights in Washington said on Thursday.

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission heard a series of witnesses some from the US administration and others from India as well as other groups at its hearing on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

This follows the Indian government revoking the special status of the state on 5 August. This is the second US congressional panel hearing on the subject since August.

According to people familiar with the developments, the hearing at the commission went better than New Delhi had anticipated given a rising chorus of voices in the US Congress against some restrictions still in place in Kashmir since August – including the detention of local politicians.

In her testimony before the Lantos Human Rights Commission panel, columnist Sunanda Vashisht pointed out that 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. International cooperation in India's fight against terror would also solve the human rights problem in the state, she said.

"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," Vashisht told the hearing organised by Tom Lantos HR Commission, according to video clips posted on Twitter.

According to a PTI report from Washington, the Lantos Commission was packed with a large number of known anti-India members. The panellists included Kashmiri American Yousra Fazili, the niece of Mubeen Shah, a detained Kashmiri businessman and the main organizer of child stone pelters in the Valley, the report said.

My Reads Logout