Indian Columnist and political commentator Sunanda Vashisht's speech has taken social media by storm after she testified at the US Congressional hearing on Human Rights on Thursday, November 14. Organised by Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan US congressional caucus was held in Washington to examine the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the context of the region's history. 

Sunanda Vashisht
Sunanda Vashisht speaking at the US Congress

During her speech, Sunanda highlighted some of the crucial human rights situations in the Valley,  India's successful attempts to fight against insurgencies in J&K, milestones achieved post abrogation of article 370 and made several other important statements in the context of Kashmir's human rights violations over the years. The hearing also addressed the Valley's lockdown situation including restrictions on internet and communication.

Here are a few key takeaways from Sunanda Vashisht's speech: 

  • India's fight against insurgencies

It is high time to strengthen India to fight against insurgencies in Kashmir, said columnist Sunanda Vashisht, adding that the move will followingly help in solving the human rights problems in the region forever.

Terrorists gave my people 3 choices, flee, convert or die. Have seen ISIS level of horror, brutality in Kashmir - Sunanda Vashisht

"India's democratic credentials are unmatched. The country has successfully, in a democratic setup, defeated insurgencies in Punjab and northeast. It is time to strengthen India against such insurgencies and the human rights problems will be solved forever," Vashisht told a Congressional hearing on Human Rights. 

Jammu and Kashmir
The arrested terrorists were involved in threatening and intimidation of locals traders against reopening their shops in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.Reuters
  • Islamic terrorism in Kashmir

"We are dealing with Islamic terrorism in Kashmir," Vashisht told the panelists. "We have to be cognisant of the fact. All deaths have been happening due to terrorists trained by Pakistan. This doublespeak is not helping India in any way," the columnist stressed before the gathering. She said that the international community has to assist India in eradicating radical Islamist terror that is when the human rights situation will be possible.

My grandfather was ready to kill me to save me from worse - Sunanda Vashisht recalls Kashmiri Pandits' nightmare

  • 'Plebiscite in Kashmir is never going to happen'

"Plebiscite in Kashmir is never going to happen," she said. A plebiscite requires the entire community to unite for a decision, but in this case, a part of Kashmir is in India, another in Pakistan, a part of it is also held with China, Vashisht added.

  • 'There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India'

In her concluding remarks, the columnist further stated that India has "not occupied" Kashmir and that Kashmir was always an integral part of India.

India is not just a 70-year-old identity, but a 5000-year-old civilisation. There is no India without Kashmir, and no Kashmir without India 

This was the second congressional hearing after the Indian government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories on August 5, which was effective as of October 31, 2019.

(With inputs from wires)

Watch the speech here: