New York, August 13 : The US Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden has expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), saying restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting down the internet, weakens democracy.
In an online meeting, with the head of American-Pakistani Political Action Committee (APPAC), Dr Ijaz Ahmad along with prominent members of the Muslim community, the former vice president urged the Indian government to take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir.
India scrapped the special status of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of its Constitution on August 5, last year, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international law, dividing the disputed territory into two Union territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr Ahmad assured Biden of the Muslim community’s full support as he faces President Donald Trump in the November elections and lauded him for his commitment to bring America back to its values.
Biden assured that he would give an enhanced role to the Muslim community in his administration and address their concern and needs. “Never before we have so many Muslims in a position of influence in a presidential campaign,” he pointed out.
“A hadith from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) instructs, ‘Whomever among you sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand’,” Biden quoted. “‘If he is not able, then with his tongue. If he is not able, then with his heart.’”
Meanwhile, “Muslims for Biden” announced that they have raised $ 1.3 million in a virtual fundraiser with the former vice president. On its part, the APPAC has already donated $320,000 that includes a personal contribution of $120,000 by Dr Ijaz Ahmad, who heads the group.