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Key Policy recommendations

American for Kashmir's recommendations for the the US Government to pursue a principled foreign policy with India in regards to Kashmir 


The situation in Kashmir remains a source of ongoing instability in South Asia, and has deteriorated further under Prime Minister Narenda Modi's administration. Currently, Kashmiris face significant challenges with simple communication with each other and the outside world. Journalists and ordinary citizens are routinely detained under undemocratic laws without due process, and families live in a state of constant uncertainty ‘and fear in the world’s most militarized zone. On August 5, 2019, the Indian government unilaterally revoked Jammu & Kashmir’s (“Kashmir”) autonomous status while placing its population under total lockdown. These actions were carried out in contravention of international law and without the consent of the governed.


Since then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken increasingly drastic steps to curtail Kashmiris’ human and democratic rights. Most recently, the Indian government has passed laws (similar to policies enacted by the Chinese government in Tibet and Xinjiang province) that pave the way for forced demographic change in Kashmir. Once these laws begin to permanently alter the demographic make-up of the region, the likelihood of reaching a viable resolution on Kashmir and settling tensions between the region’s nuclear powers will all but vanish. This erosion of human rights in Kashmir is taking place simultaneously as the Modi administration erodes democratic norms and institutions inside India, threatening a cornerstone of the U.S./India alliance: the mutual commitment to a pluralistic, secular democracy.

Key Recommendations

  • Reliable Access to Internet: India must end the repeated pattern of internet restrictions in Kashmir

  • Release of detainees: India must release all journalists, political leaders, children and leaders booked illegally or under the Public Safety Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and the new anti-democratic media policy in Kashmir.

  • End attacks on the free press: India must cease the intimidation, assault, and detention of journalists in Kashmir and across the region.

  • India & China shared complicity: the US acknowledges that both India and China have contributed to the current crisis through irresponsible regional action and domestic repression.

  • Halt demographic flooding: the Indian government must halt the issuance of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris and revert to previously relevant residency paperwork as this change threatens existing UN frameworks for a political settlement in Kashmir.

  • Restore the democratic rights of the Kashmiri people: the US and the international community must affirm that the Kashmiri people have the right to determine their own future.

  • Uphold religious freedom in Kashmir and across India: India must directly address the downward spiral of religious freedom and skyrocketing violent attacks by Hindu nationalists against Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other minority faith communities in Kashmir and across the region.

  • No future trade or aid without accountability: no new trade deal should be discussed without clear accountability for the Indian government’s actions in Kashmir and across the region. A free press, an independent and unbiased judicial system, a withdrawal of Indian armed forces from residential towns and villages, and a respect for human rights must be preconditions for doing business with America. Similarly, future US military assistance to the Indian government should be suspended pending a comprehensive and independent review of human rights violations in Kashmir, in accordance with the Leahy Law.

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