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Congressional sub-committee to hold hearing on human rights situation in S Asia

An American Congressional sub-committee will hold a hearing on the human rights situation in South Asia, including Kashmir, on Tuesday with top officials from the state department and experts on the region.

The hearing will be convened by Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Titled 'Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region', Sherman said, the hearing will focus on the situation in Kashmir, the condition of Tamils in Sri Lanka, and human rights in Pakistan, focusing on Sindh Province.

"The hearing will focus on the Kashmir Valley, where many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet, and telephone communications have been interrupted," Sherman said, in a statement, adding that it will also review supplies of food, medicine, and other essentials in the Valley.

The Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Robert Destro would represent the US Government in the first panel of the Congressional sub-committee hearing.

The second panel, scheduled in the afternoon, would comprise journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh, activist Fatima Gul Sindhi, associate professor in politics and international relations at the University of Westminster Nitasha Kaul.

Co-chair Political Conflict, Gender and People's Rights Initiative Research Anthropologist, Center for Race and Gender, Angana Chatterji, who has been critical of Indian policies in the past, and Asia Pacific Advocacy Manager Amnesty International Francisco Bencosme will testify before the Congressional sub-committee.