Kashmir separatists on Monday declared a diplomatic victory after visiting US president Barack Obama described J-K “a long pending dispute that needs to be resolved”.
Minutes after Obama’s remarks on Kashmir in reply to a question of a foreign journalist, hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani uploaded a video on social networking site YouTube welcomig the US president’s K-statement.
“The US president accepted and acknowledged the fact that J-K is a long-standing dispute and it should be resolved,” said Geelani in the video, while crediting it to the recent uprising and “sacrifices made by the people of Kashmir in the last five months”.
Geelani said “India too should accept the reality and should not describe Kashmir as an integral part”. “India should acknowledge Kashmir as a dispute and pave the way for its resolution. The dispute should be resolved in its historical perspective and as per the wishes of people,” said 84-year-old Geelani.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who had sought the US help to facilitate a dialogue on Kashmir, said: “Obama echoed the Hurriyat stand. What Obama has stated, we believe in it… The US should also intervene in grave human rights violations in Kashmir.”
The Mirwaiz had collected two lakh signatures from 14 districts of Kashmir valley in the last two weeks to seek the US intervention in the Kashmir issue.
“New Delhi should have no problem with the third party intervention or facilitation. In case of water disputes, when India readily agrees for the World Bank intervention, it should have no problem if a third party facilitates a dialogue on Kashmir,” said the Mirwaiz.
JKLF chief Yasin Malik, while welcoming Obama’s statement, said “people of Kashmir have adopted non-violent means to highlight their issue and long-pending genuine demand…we hope the US and the other world powers will help in the resolution of the dispute.”