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Geelani wants Obama to recognise Kashmir's struggle

Welcoming US President Barack Obama and wishing for a fruitful Indo-America relations, Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani called upon the US to recognise Kashmir's struggle and the need to resolve it.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2010 21:03 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times

Welcoming US President Barack Obama and wishing for a fruitful Indo-America relations, Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani called upon the US to recognise Kashmir's struggle and the need to resolve it.

"We hope the visit will be a milestone for people of Kashmir in achieving their long standing demand for exercise of inalienable right to self determination," said Geelani in a two-page memorandum written to the US president on Saturday.

Departing from his Islam-based rant, Geelani referred to universal values while seeking Obama's help in resolving the issue. "Kashmiris aspire for realization of self determination, universally accepted norm and principle for resolution of disputes pertaining territories inhabited by people…J-K is entitled to exercise right to self-determination as guaranteed by the very first common Article of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic-Social and Cultural Rights," writes Geelani in the memorandum.

Geelani had given a shutdown call in Kashmir valley on Saturday to draw attention of the US president to the issue.

De-hyphenating terrorism and Kashmir's "struggle", Geelani said: "Kashmir resistance since (2001 twin towers attack in the US) re-oriented itself into a peaceful, non-violent struggle in the form of 'Quit Jammu & Kashmir Movement'," said 84-year-old Geelani.

He claimed Kashmir is the first resistance within Muslim lands that has seen a transition from armed insurgency to a non-violent people's movement.

The ailing and aging separatist leader said people in Kashmir abandoned their business, schools, factories and every other avenue of engagement to impress upon the world indispensability of restoration of their inalienable right to self-determination.

"Indian state has responded to our peaceful movement with blatant use of force," he alleged.

Accusing New Delhi of subterfuge, Geelani said, "In spite of unprecedented mass mobilization, right for self determination continues to be denied to J-K. The often-cited pretext for this denial remains misplaced portrayal of existence of minorities. Heterogeneity of population is not Kashmir-specific but has been associated with so many issues recently attended and resolved by the international community," said Geelani.

Warning of Afghanistan-like situation in Kashmir, Geelani said, "World has paid a heavy price for its indifference towards Afghanistan. Ramifications of any conflict don't remain confined to a specific territory within globalised world. World has to attend and focus on Kashmir issue in its own interest."

Geelani sought US intervention in Kashmir saying "solution of the (Kashmir) problem with American assistance will go a long way in eradication of trust deficit between US and the Muslim world".

First Published: Nov 06, 2010 20:59 IST