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Obama’s statement jolts separatist camp
Geelani questions intentions, Malik says statement unfortunate
SRINAGAR, Jul 16: Barack Obama’s disagreement over the chances of intervention in the Kashmir issue came as a disappointment for the separatist camp today with veteran Syed Ali Shah Geelani questioning intentions of the US president.

Ruling out any “solution from outside” to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Obama yesterday stated that disputes between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir, could only be resolved by the two countries themselves. He was responding to a question on the current state of Indo-Pak relations and the best way forward for the two countries to resolve their bilateral matters, including Jammu and Kashmir.

Geelani, the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (G), said the statement reflects the “bias of the international community.”

“If America could play crucial role in the grant of right to self determination to East Timor and South Sudan, why is it reluctant to do the same for Kashmir, which is the longest running dispute in the world? Are Kashmiris not Muslims? Is our blood not red?” Geelani said.

The 82-year-old separatist said the statement has given rise to several “serious and bitter question.”

“Is being Muslim such a big crime that the world will forget even the UN resolutions on Kashmir? What is our fault if the soil of Kashmir cannot produce petrol?” he asked.

The movement, he maintained, in Kashmir was running independently, and “it neither started at someone’s direction nor will it stop at someone’s word.”

The chairman JKLF, Muhammad Yasin Malik, who is presently in New Delhi for treatment, termed the statements as “unfortunate and unwise.”

He said the statement was actually against the US policy on Kashmir as “the country has always been asking for a solution to this vexed issue according to the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people.”

Malik, who has been keenly urging upon the world to recognize the peaceful movement in Kashmir, said the US and other world power persuaded Kashmiris to change to non-violence, and that it was the duty of US to “respect the positive change.”

“Instead efforts are made to push us to the wall. This attitude has not and cannot help,” he said, asserting that Kashmir was not a border dispute between India and Pakistan that could be resolved through bilateral dialogue.

Malik, however, also responded to the statement of Dalai Lama who visited Kashmir recently, calling it “most regrettable” statement by the religious leader of Dalai Lama’s stature.

“We respect him as a religious leader, but we have a question to ask,” he said, “If we Kashmiris go to Tibet and declare Tibet as an integral part of China and issue statements against the Tibetan people, how will Dalai Lama and other Tibetans feel about it?”

The Democratic Freedom Party chairman, Shabir Ahmad Shah, who is also the senior executive member of the Hurriyat Conference (M), however, hoped that the US would not shed the responsibilities towards Kashmir.

“Kashmir is an international dispute as is clear from the UN resolutions on Kashmir, and being the biggest member of UN, US has responsibilities towards Kashmir. We hope US does not shed its responsibilities,” he said.

Reacting to Dalai Lama, Shah said the religious leader should not have hurt the sentiments of Kashmiris when he himself has been a part of struggle in Tibet.

“Instead of hurting sentiments of Kashmiris, he shall have spoken against New Delhi for human rights violations in Kashmir,” he said, and condemned the damage in fire to shrine at Budgam. He said the fire incident was part of a conspiracy to damage the religious places in Kashmir.

The JKLF (H) chairman, Javid Mir, also questioned the change in the US stand on Kashmir, saying “when US could intervene at the time of wars and pacts between India and Pakistan, why cannot it intervene right now?”

The Kashmir issue, he said, was the result of US negotiations.

“When US could intervene in the case of East Timor and South Sudan, why does it want to stay out of the Kashmir issue?” Mir asked.

News Updated at : Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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