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Malik hails Obama's reaching out to Muslims

india Updated: Jun 06, 2009 18:42 IST
Malik hails Obama's reaching out to Muslims

JKLF Chief Yasin Malik on Saturday hailed US President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world as a new beginning in the US-Muslim relations and said India and Pakistan should seize the opportunity to resolve Kashmir dispute.

"Muslims of Kashmir welcome this initiative and congratulate the US president for a promising and notable step," he said in a statement here.

Claiming that 9/11 "tragedy" created a gulf between US and the Muslim world, Malik said the recent initiatives taken by Obama would "certainly be a landmark in bridging the gaps."

Speaking at Egypt's Cairo University on Thursday, Obama reached out to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, saying a new beginning should be forged between Islam and America, promising to purge years of suspicion and discord.

"This reflected a positive change of US towards Muslim world," Malik said, while calling for maintaining religious tolerance and brotherhood among all religions.

He observed that time has come when "as stated by Obama" all disputes involving Muslim nations such as issue of Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Iraq must be "resolved peacefully and at the earliest."

He asked "India and Pakistan to seize the opportunity ... To resolve the Kashmir issie. This is necessary as Kashmir is not a mere border issue, but it is the question of future of millions of Kashmiris."