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J&K CM condemns Saddam's execution

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the execution as 'unfortunate', reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 21:01 IST
Arun Joshi

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 was seen by Kashmiri separatists as a "deliberate act of India's friend Saddam Hussein to divert the global attention from Kashmir," where the violent insurgency was in its first year of its birth.

Today, when Saddam was executed, he was hailed as a hero in Jammu and Kashmir. There were instant and spontaneous street protests in several parts of the state, condemning the hanging of former Iraqi ruler.

The hanging has been widely condemned as unfortunate all over Jammu and Kashmir- the only Muslim majority state in the country. The shock has been added by its timings, for it has coincided with the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Zuha.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the execution as " unfortunate". " But, he said, " what is more unfortunate is that, he has been executed on an auspicious occasion when Eid-ul-Zuha is being celebrated by Muslims in the Arab world and elsewhere today."

" This action seems to have been taken in great haste and it is bound to hurt the sentiments not only of Muslims but also others, who believe in democracy and human dignity."

The timings had indeed intrigued other leaders in the state as well. Besides," badly timed act," it was also a manifestation of " short sightedness," observed international relations expert and Jammu university vice chancellor Amitabh Mattoo.

He said: " it would inflame passions." and, as far as Kashmir is concerned, he said that it unleashes a wave of "disenchantment for those who had been arguing for an American role."

As the political leaders and strategic experts were debating the fall out of the execution of Saddam Hussein on the international scenario, especially in the Muslim world, an ominous message was also emerging out of the protests.

The slogans at these protests appeared to be well orchestrated.
"Saddam teri qurabani se inquilab aayega," (Saddam your sacrifice would trigger a revolution), " Osama, Omar tum aage bado, hum tumhare saath hai" (Al-Qaeda ideologue, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Mohammad Omar, you lead, we are here to follow you). These slogans were heard from the streets of the border town of Armour.

At the moment, these protests may be small, because the people do not want to sour the celebratory mood ahead of Eid-ul-Zuha. But the ream impact would be known in the days to come," commented an official. "We are watching the happenings in the Islamic world. Since Kashmir has a history of mimicking those that worries us."

First Published: Dec 30, 2006 21:01 IST