K Factor Spoils Indo-Pak Feel Good
22 April 2004
The Times of India
New Delhi: With the ice between India and Pakistan melting, Islamabad has chosen a new frontier to attack New Delhi and even hijacked platform of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to claim human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, a charge strongly denied by India. The 60th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which concluded in Geneva on April 20, saw heated arguments between the two countries with India's Permanent Representative to the world body Hardeep Puri challenging several statements by the Pakistani Permanent Representative to the UN, Shaukat Umer. Umer, in his first presentation before the world body, claimed that 'people of Jammu and Kashmir tried to achieve their right to self-determination for 40 years but took recourse to an armed struggle later'. Umer also chose the occasion to distance Pakistan from supporting the armed struggle and said, 'its (armed struggle) attribution to external sources and its description as terrorism cannot detract from the legitimacy of the cause'. In his second presentation before the UN body, Umer claimed to make a statement as the representative of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, which enjoys an observer status in the world body. The recent steps initiated by India and Pakistan on all issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, were long awaited. A solution to this dispute must be predicated on the wishes of the Kashmiri people enshrined in the relevant UN resolutions which are fully supported by the OIC,' Umer (rpt Umer) said. However, using its right to reply, Debabrata Saha, a member of Indian delegation, said 'the representative of Pakistan claiming to speak on behalf of OIC had chosen to make an egregious and regrettable reference to India.' Puri said, 'Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. The only occupation is that of Pakistan and the only threats faced by the people of the region stem from cross- border terrorism.' Puri went on to say that 'Pakistan had extolled the virtues of the Taliban, from the effects of which, the world is trying to recover.' Pakistan had also brought in its own captive delegates posing as members of Western NGOs which included Raja Najabat Hussain, who is actually the political advisor of so-called prime minister of Pak-occupied Kashmir who represented a US-based NGO International Human Rights Association of American Minorities. Similarly, Farooq Rehmani, who is actually the convenor of the Syed Ali Shah Geelani faction of Hurryiat Conference in Pak-occupied- Kashmir, posed as a delegate of the World Mosques Council.