A Kashmir Hindu activist has told a US Congressional panel that the issue of India ‘occupying’ Kashmir was meaningless as Kashmir has always been a part of India.

Houston-based activist Sunanda Vashisht argued that Kashmir is part of India’s 5,000-year civilization. Sunanda Vashisht testified at a hearing that India is a 5000-year-civilisation, not just a 70-year-old identity.

She said that there is no India without Kashmir, and vice-versa. He also challenged Pakistan’s narrative on the Kashmir issue as a 70-year religion-specific territorial dispute.

In a searing personal testimony, she pushed back against the narrative of human rights abuse of Kashmiris and Indian oppression of Kashmiris.

The protesters are mainly from the JUI-F party, and a large number of teachers and students from the party’s extensive network of religious schools across the country.

The main opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), have backed the protests, but their participation in the actual demonstration has been limited.

She asked where were the human rights advocates when Pakistan-backed terrorists got involved in targeting killing of Pandits in the 1990s and forced some 400,000 out of the Valley.

Sunanda asked the Democrat-dominated panel where were the saviors of humanity when her old and feeble grandfather stood with kitchen knives and rusted axe prepared to kill her mother and herself in order to save them from the worse fate that awaited them.