On February 3, the New York State Assembly passed a resolution that calls on Governor Andrew Cuomo to announce February 5 as Kashmir American Day in the State of New York. This resolution drew sharp criticism from India which “noted with concern attempts by vested interests to misrepresent Jammu and Kashmir’s rich cultural and social mosaic to divide the people.”
Assembly-member Nader J Sayegh and 12 other lawmakers sponsored the resolution, which states that the Kashmiri community has overcome numerous adversities, exhibited perseverance, and established themselves as one of the pillars of the New York immigrant communities. It also states that “the State of New York endeavors to champion human rights, including the freedom of religion, movement, and expression for all Kashmiri people, which are embedded within the US Constitution, through the recognition of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious identities”.
“We have seen the New York Assembly Resolution regarding Kashmir American Day. Like the US, India is a vibrant democracy and the pluralistic ethos of 1.35 billion people is a matter of pride. India celebrates its diversity and rich cultural mosaic, including in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India. We note with concern the attempt by vested interests to misrepresent the rich cultural and social mosaic of Jammu and Kashmir to divide the people,” said a spokesperson of India’s Embassy in Washington while talking about the resolution.
Pakistan’s Consulate General in New York through a tweet acknowledged the role of Sayegh and The American Pakistani Advocacy Group towards the adoption of the resolution.
For several years, Pakistan has been unsuccessfully attempting to gather international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. India has firmly said that Jammu and Kashmir has been and will continue to be an integral part of India.