Friday, January 07, 2011

Kashmir: Kashmiri leader says, "UN has become a mistress of the big powers"

Srinagar, India, Jan 7, IRNA -- Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday described the United Nations a handmaiden of big powers least interested in alleviating Muslim suffering.

At a seminar to mark the anniversary of the first UN resolution on Kashmir, Geelani lashed out at the world body for having become a ‘handmaiden of big powers’.

“The UN has become a mistress of the big powers, and has failed to get its own resolutions on Kashmir implemented,” Geelani said.

“The question of East Timor was decided after a brief struggle of mere two years when the UN stepped in and settled the issue, paving the way for peace. But the same body has been guilty of criminal negligence in the case of Kashmir,” he said.

“The UN showed interest in East Timor because it is a Christian-dominated region, but is unable to see any issue in Kashmir because it has a Muslim majority,” he said.

“Kashmiris took up arms in desperation, as they were forced to take the path of the gun after India refused to take any steps to resolve the Kashmir issue for six decades,” he said.

“If Bhagat Singh (Indian freedom fighter) is a hero for exploding a bomb in a courtroom why can’t the Kashmiri youth be regarded as such when they took up arms to get justice,” he said.

Geelani said that Kashmir had effectively been turned into a police state which, according to him, could be gauged by the manner in which the state police chief issued policy statements as if the chief minister did not exist.

“The police is even more merciless than the army and has unleashed a reign of terror and violence in the valley,” he said.

“The police claim that peace, restored in the state, is far from reality. The actual fact is that the police has enforced a silence of the graveyard in Kashmir by its terror tactics,” he said.

Earlier, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday hit out at the United Nations, calling it a failed body for having failed to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Referring to the Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Farooq accusing the UN of having failed on Kashmir, Abdullah said that he could not comment on it in his capacity as a union minister, but as the president of the NC he agreed to the view that the UN had failed to settle many issues.

Declaring the restoration of peace in the state to be essential, he said that a solution to the Kashmir issue must be acceptable to the people of all the three regions of the state, and that the solution would have to come from them.

“Views from both sides of Kashmir have to be respected, and the people from the other side of the LoC too must necessarily be included in the talks process,” he said.

Stressing upon India and Pakistan to resume their composite dialogue, Abdullah said that better and durable relations between the two neighbours could be guaranteed only when they came closer and begin to resolve their issues including that of Kashmir.

He said, ''It is unfortunate that we have too much of politics in the country that no other nation has and it does not allow things to move comfortably.''

Farooq added that dialogue has to be carried on so that everybody lives in peace.

''Why cannot I go and have a cup of tea at Sialkot (Pakistan) and why cannot people come from across to have a cup of tea at Jammu,'' he desired adding, ''dialogue is the only solution to Kashmir.''

Abdullah made a renewed appeal to the Mirwaiz to start a dialogue with New Delhi, saying that the process was imperative for conflict resolution.

“The Mirwaiz should display courage now, and take the initiative in starting a dialogue with the centre,” Abdullah said.

“This is the time to pave the way, and the Mirwaiz must take the initiative,” he said.