Kashmiris accuse Obama of double standards

Kashmiris complain Obama criticised India for remaining silent on Myanmar rights abuse, but himself ignored Kashmir.


Afp November 09, 2010

SRINAGAR: Kashmiris on Tuesday accused US President Barack Obama of double standards for criticising India's silence on rights abuses in Myanmar while ignoring oppression in their region.

"The US president should have also criticised Indians for killing innocent and unarmed protesters in Kashmir," said Javed Mir, a senior leader of the pro-independence Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front.

"Here we also have peaceful protests that have been met with brute force but Obama chooses to remain silent on that," said Mir.

During an address to India's parliament on Monday, Obama chided his hosts for repeatedly having "shied away" from condemning rights abuses in countries like Myanmar.

"When peaceful democratic movements are suppressed, as they have been in Burma (Myanmar), then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent," Obama said.

"For it is unacceptable to gun down peaceful protesters," he added.

Kashmiri leaders like Mir argued that Obama's description was a perfect fit for the recent unrest in Indian Kashmir which saw 100 people killed in street protests, most of them shot dead by security forces.

"We are sad he chose to remain silent on grave human rights violations being committed by Indian troops in Kashmir," said All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

"We had high hopes he would condemn the brutal use of force against peaceful protesters in Kashmir and we are disappointed he didn't," Farooq said.

For more than three months, thousands of protesters, many of them teenagers, fought pitched battles with security forces in the highly militarised disputed territory.

"Like in Burma, political leaders here are jailed for raising their legitimate demands for their right to self-determination," said Shabir Shah, who has spent more than 20 years in different Indian prisons.

In a nod to Indian sensitivities over outside interference in Kashmir, Obama made it clear during his three-day visit here that the United States could not "impose a solution" on India's bitter territorial dispute with Pakistan over the mountainous region.

But Farooq argued there was still a role for Washington to play.

"The US should be a facilitator if mediation is not acceptable to India," he said.

COMMENTS (4)

Hanief Manzoor Dar | 10 years ago | Reply We Kashmiris are demanding freedom from Indian terrorism.We have already given sacrifices of more then 100,000 lives.International community has never supported our freedom movement. But we will achieve our goal peacefully InshALLAH. Thanks to Pakistan's support for our noble cause of freedom. ==go india go Back== ==We want freedom==
Subhash | 10 years ago | Reply It is quite humorous to see Pakistani media's obsession with Kashmir. Any & every leader who does not toe the Pak line is ridiculed. And figures touting number of killings by Indian Forces are brandished in support. For the sake of argument let us accept these as absolutely correct but pause a bit & compare with those by the Pak Army in East Pakistan in just over 1 year. The numbers are at least 30 times, the time frame at least 22 times lesser. Vast majority in Kashmir were militants, whereas in BD it was purely civilians. So let's accept the reality of the real world, make peace with own self & strive for development.
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