Pakistan on Sunday gave permission to U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen to visit Azad Kashmir and meet the local people to get first hand information about the situation in areas near the Line of Control (LoC) — a de facto border that divides disputed Jammu and Kashmir between Pakistan and India, an official said.
President Sardar Masood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider of Pakistan administered Kashmir urged the U.S. Senators to play their role in saving the people of IOJK [Indian Occupied Kashmir] from India’s repressive brutal measures and pressing India to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions, according to the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Faisal.
The U.S. Senators said that they shared the human rights concerns and would continue to urge India to lift the curfew and release all prisoners as a first step and expressed their resolve to remain engaged for the resolution of the dispute.
Earlier, the Indian government denied US Senator Chris Van Hollen entry to the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Later, the Pakistani government invited the U.S. delegation to visit the other side of the valley.
Hollen is one of nearly 50 members of the U.S. congress who have expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir. He said that his country is supporting Pakistan’s demand to resolve the Kashmir issue according to the wishes of Kashmiri people.
He said politicians and journalists should be allowed to visit the Indian Occupied Kashmir to get first-hand information about the situation there.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since the Indian government’s revocation of its special status.