US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticises communications lockdown in Kashmir

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Shafaqna Pakistan:US presidential contender Bernie Sanders on Saturday said he was deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir and called for immediate removal of the communication blockade in the valley.

Speaking at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in Houston, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said, “India’s action [in Kashmir] is unacceptable,” criticising its crackdown in Kashmir, revoking its semi-autonomous status and the humanitarian crisis that has ensued.”

“I am deeply concerned about this situation in Kashmir where the Indian government has revoked Kashmiri autonomy, cracked on dissent and instituted a communications blackout. The crackdown in the name of “security” is also denying the Kashmiri people access to medical care,” Sanders said.

He added, “Even many respected doctors in Indian have acknowledged that the Indian government-imposed restrictions on travel are threatening the life-saving care that patients need.”

The 77-year-old senator further called on the Indian government to immediately lift the communications blockade in the valley. “The United States government must speak out boldly in support on international humanitarian law and in support of a UN back a peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people.”

Occupied Kashmir has been under a clampdown since August 5, after the Indian government revoked the special status of the valley. The Modi government sent in an unprecedented number of Indian troops to the disputed valley, imposed a curfew and placed Kashmiri politicians under house arrest.