WASHINGTON, D.C.— Over 200 Kashmiri Pandits from across the U.S., descended on Capitol Hill on Oct. 16 to interact with U.S. lawmakers and their aides at a Congressional briefing titled, ‘Kashmir, the Way Forward,’ in the aftermath of the government of India’s revoking Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that provides for special status for the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir.
“The objective of the briefing was to promote pluralism, reconnect and to reintegrate the hearts and minds of the people of Kashmir following the removal of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019.”
Taking the lead in organizing the briefing was the Indo-American Community Federation (IACF), founded by longtime Kashmiri Pandit activist Jeevan Zutshi, who got Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D.-Calif.) to co-host the event. Partnering with the IACF, were the Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) and U.S.-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), led by their chairpersons, Dr. Shakun Malik and Sanjay Puri.
Besides Eshoo, among the lawmakers who marked their presence included Reps. Ro Khanna, Mike Thompson, Zoe Lofgren, Mark Desaulneir and Dorthy Matsui, all Democrats from California.
The chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, Elliot Engel (D.-N.Y.) also attended the event, and in his brief remarks, said, “Democratic and pluralistic communities are very much needed to live harmoniously, and I commend all of you for promoting harmony across the globe.”