Pakistan Pleads For US Intervention On Kashmir21 September 2010
New York: Pakistan on Tuesday urged the United States to pressure India over Kashmir, saying recent unrest showed that New Delhi and not Islamabad was to blame for trouble in the Himalayan territory. On a visit to New York for a UN session on Pakistan's devastating floods, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi insisted his government wanted peace with India but tore into its rule of Kashmir which he called 'oppression.' 'The occupation cannot continue. The rights of the Kashmiri people cannot continue to be denied,' Qureshi said at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank. 'We call upon the United States particularly, which is pressing so responsibly for peace in the Middle East, to also invest its political capital in trying to help seek an accommodation on Kashmir,' he said. 'Such an accommodation would not only be just for the people of Kashmir but would be critical for peace in the region,' he said, warning that 'terrorism... has fueled and thrived on blatant examples of social and political injustice.' President Barack Obama's administration is seeking a broader relationship with India but also friendlier ties with Pakistan, a key battleground in the fight against Islamic extremism. India considers Kashmir a domestic issue and rejects any foreign involvement. The Obama administration has steered clear of Kashmir after early statements triggered a backlash in India. Kashmir, a Himalayan territory with a Muslim majority but a sizeable Hindu minority, has been disputed between India and Pakistan since independence and triggered two full-fledged wars between them. An insurgency erupted on the Indian side in 1989 but had subsided in recent years. Indian authorities, along with some outside experts, say that Pakistan actively supported Islamic guerrillas who sneaked across the frontier. But in recent weeks, waves of protesters have turned to the streets to rally against Indian rule in Kashmir. Security forces have shot dead more than 100 demonstrators. 'At times it's easy for the Indians to look toward Pakistan and blame Pakistan for everything that's going wrong in Indian-occupied Kashmir,' Qureshi said. But he said 'no one any longer can seriously believe this.' 'Can Pakistan orchestrate thousands of people? Can Pakistan plan, sitting in Islamabad, a shutdown all over Kashmir?' he said.