In a controversial move, the New York State Assembly passed a resolution calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare February 5 as Kashmir American Day. The NY Assembly’s move has been met with criticism in India as officials here noted with “concern” the attempts being made by “vested interests” to misrepresent Jammu and Kashmir’s rich cultural and social mosaic.
Meanwhile, the NY Assembly while passing its resolution, lauded the Kashmiri diaspora in the United States for overcoming numerous odds. The resolution, sponsored by Assembly member Nader Sayegh and 12 other lawmakers, states that the “Kashmiri community has overcome adversity, shown perseverance and established themselves as one of the pillars of the New York immigrant communities.”
It further states that “the State of New York endeavours to champion human rights including the freedom of religion, movement and expression for all Kashmiri people, which are embedded within the US Constitution, through the recognition of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious identities.”
However, commenting on the resolution India reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir “is an integral and inalienable part of India”.
“We have seen the New York Assembly Resolution regarding Kashmir American Day. Like the US, India is a vibrant democracy and the pluralistic ethos of 1.35 billion people are a matter of pride. India celebrates its diversity and rich cultural mosaic, including in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India. We note with concern the attempt by vested interests to misrepresent the rich cultural and social mosaic of Jammu and Kashmir to divide the people,” a spokesperson of India’s Embassy in Washington said.
The legislative resolution, adopted in the New York State Assembly on February 3, calls on Cuomo to proclaim February 5, 2021 as Kashmir American Day in the State of New York.
In a tweet, Pakistan’s Consulate General in New York acknowledged the role of Sayegh and The American Pakistani Advocacy Group towards the adoption of the resolution.
Pakistan has been trying to drum up international support against India after Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.
Meanwhile, India has firmly told Pakistan that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been, is, and shall continue to be an integral part of India. New Delhi has maintained that issues related to Jammu and Kashmir are internal matters to India.
India has also categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution was its internal matter.
(With PTI inputs)