(Image source from: Live Law)
Indian Americans are protesting vigorously against Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi who has asked the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make Kashmir a major center of attention of the Trump Administration.
Suozzi, in a letter dated August 9, alleged that the action by the Indian government "risks provoking mass social unrest..."
"These new restrictions on the autonomy of the state and the rights of Kashmiris could also embolden extremists and terrorists to act,” wrote Suozzi, who represents the 3rd Congressional District of New York.
Indian Americans constitute a significantly large number in the 3rd Congressional District of New York.
"We Indian Americans are very upset with Congressman Suozzi. We are demanding that he withdraws his letter written to Secretary Pompeo. Kashmir is an integral part of India and it is India's internal matter. He or the U..S has no right to interfere in India's internal affair," said Jagdish Sewhani, the President of the American India Public Affairs Committee.
After Suozzi’s letter to Pompeo became open to the public, his local office was flooded with continuous phone calls from agitated Indian Americans demanding an explanation and urging him to withdraw the letter
Feeling the heat, Suozzi has scheduled a meeting with representatives of the Indian American community on Sunday.
"Congressman Tom Suozzi would like to meet with his friends in the Indian American community to listen to their concerns regarding India and the region, receive your input so that he can have a balanced view of the situation. He welcomes a candid dialogue on this matter," said a message sent to the community leaders Saturday evening.
Ravi Batra, an Indian American from New York said that Congressman Suozzi's letter to Pompeo is "silly pandering with a few angry constituents rather than serving 'best interests' of USA."
America's best interest, Batra said, are "being friends of the sub-continent, making it terror-free and support enhanced peace and security."
In his letter, Suozzi asked Pompeo "to let me know as soon as possible what actions our government intends to take and please advise if l may be of any assistance."
The Indian government on August 5 revoked Article 370 which gave special status for Jammu and Kashmir and divided the border state into two Union Territories.
By Sowmya Sangam