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India rebuffs Kashmir Day resolution, to engage with New York separately

India rebuffs Kashmir Day resolution by New York state assembly (IANS)

India has rebuffed the New York State Assembly move to pass a resolution calling upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare February 5 as Kashmir American Day. The Indian embassy in Washington said that attempts are being made to misrepresent Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) rich cultural and social mosaic and divide the people.

The resolution, sponsored by member of the assembly Nader Sayegh and 12 other lawmakers, says that the “Kashmiri community has overcome adversity, shown perseverance and established themselves as one of the pillars of the New York immigrant communities”.

In a tweet, the Pakistani Consulate General in New York acknowledged the role of Sayegh and The American Pakistani Advocacy Group towards the resolution.

Read more: Kashmir Day has no relevance in 'Naya J&K'

However, the New York assembly resolution coincided with the J&K government restoring 4G mobile Internet services in the entire Union Territory. Mobile telephony and internet services had been suspended in the region on August 5, 2019 when Article 370 was abolished and the state was bifurcated into a Union Territory.

Recently, J&K also held the District Development Council (DDC) elections – to nurture democratic processes at the grassroots. The elections were successful despite the shadow of violence by Pakistan-based terrorists.

With normalcy returning to the region with successful elections and the restoration of democratic processes, India reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir “is an integral and inalienable part of India”.

The Indian embassy said: “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."

An Indian spokesperson added that India will engage with the elected representatives in New York state on matters concerning India-US partnership and the diverse Indian diaspora.

In 2019, Pakistan had launched an international campaign against India with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi touring world capitals to condemn India over the abrogation of Article 370.

India mounted a counter-offensive before the international community that scrapping Article 370 was an effort to better integrate J&K with mainstream India. Like previous times, India has also reinforced that Kashmir is an integral part of India which has been facing the scourge of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism that has destroyed the social cohesion of the state and its people.