NEW YORK: Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said that the United States has a moral obligation, as a world power, to impel India to bring to an immediate end its systematic atrocities in occupied Kashmir and across the South Asian country. “The United States cannot simply stand by and allow the Government of India to trample all international norms and fundamental freedoms in India and in Kashmir,” he said while commenting on a U.S. panel’s latest report saying that the state of religious freedom in India had “significantly worsened” and called for targeted sanctions against the country. In its annual report released on Monday, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urged the State Department for the third straight year to place India on the US list of ‘countries of particular concern’. Fai highlighted the Kashmir people’s continuing suffering, saying that such a climate of acute tensions was not conducive to a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute. “There is a great urgency to end the human rights violations and reduce the tension, not only for the people of Kashmir but also for the minority communities in India – Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits, and others,” he said. While the Government of India struggles to maintain its respect for democracy and human rights, Fai said it continues to commit malicious acts of terror on a repeated basis. India, he said, has declined either to punish or to investigate seriously instances of persecution of Muslims in Kashmir and elsewhere, pointing out that New Delhi has denied permission to Amnesty International, a prominent human rights watchdog body, to visit the country.