'Discrediting Hamas can have ramifications in Kashmir'
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'Discrediting Hamas can have ramifications in Kashmir'

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti says discrediting Hamas by the West in Palestine can have ramifications even in Kashmir.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 13:09 IST

Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti has said discrediting Hamas by the West in Palestine can have ramifications even in Kashmir.

Speaking at the Pugwash Conference in Cairo, Egypt on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Member of Parliament Mehbooba Mufti said that despite emerging victorious in Palestine elections, Hamas was pushed to the wall by the international sanctions and denial of the basic financial commitments by Tel Aviv.

She said honouring Hamas victory would have promoted prosperous democracies in the Middle East and sent positive signals in other conflict-hit areas.

"Dishonouring Hamas would deflect even on a situation like Kashmir," she said.

Mehbooba told the conference at Cairo that the Israel-Palestine conflict should not be seen as the clash of civilisations - the clash of Jews backed by Christian with the Muslims - but as a dispute of the land, which should be resolved.

"Unfortunately, the followers of Islam are being presented as fanatics and brutal where as West is supposed to be all liberal, which in reality is not the case," she said.

Talking about the resolution of the long-standing Kashmir dispute, Mehbooba said that the issue has three dimensions. "The Srinagar-New Delhi dimension, where New Delhi needs to remove the distrust of the people of the state. The Srinagar-Islamabad dimension, where Islamabad needs to understand Kashmir seeks peaceful resolution of the issue for the prosperity in the region. And third, the inter-regional dimension of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. This has a danger of leading the state towards disintegration and trifurcation if not addressed in a proper way," she said.

Mehbooba's PDP is putting across their concept of self-rule as the possible solution for the vexed issue of Kashmir. Her father and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in currently on the visit of the United States where he also addressed the United Nations General Assembly and deliberated upon the finer points of the party's concept of self-rule for the state.

Mufti then became only the second Kashmiri leader after the first Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to address at the United Nations. Mehbooba said that the Palestine-Israel conflict should be settled just as the Kashmir conflict.

"Our concept of self-rule is the best solution for the Kashmir issue keeping the unification of the three regions of the state in mind and that too without challenging the sovereignty of India and Pakistan," she added.

First Published: Nov 18, 2006 13:09 IST