September 1999 News

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Kargil intrusion was a mistake: Moulvi Umer

22 September 1999
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: Senior Hurriyat leader, Moulvi Umer Farooq, today described Pakistan’s intrusion in Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir as uncalled for saying it had damaged the separatist cause.

We have conveyed our unhappiness on the issue to Pakistan as the intrusion has damaged us. Umer, who is seeking to go to New York to meet world leaders on the fringes of the UN General Assembly meeting, told PTI.

He claimed he was going to United States to attend the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting, being held to coincide with the UN General Assembly. Hurriyat had recently been given observer status by the OIC.

Umer said Kargil issue had put the Lahore peace process, set in motion by the two Prime Ministers, A B Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif in the dock. There was an uncalled for tension between the two countries due to such an intrusion bid by Pakistan, he added.

He said Pakistan’s attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue had actually damaged the cause for which Hurriyat Conference is fighting.

Umer claimed that the US, France and UK which had been supportive of Kashmir cause had to intervene to censure Pakistan for its role in Kargil. This by proxy had done irreparable damage to Kashmir issue.

On the vanishing international support after the Kargil crisis, Umer sought to dispute this saying major powers had played the role of tension diffusers as any escalation could have been catastrophic.

The former chairman of Hurriyat Conference also expressed his fear that such violations could lead to a dangerous outcome since both India and Pakistan had attained a nuclear status.

The comments of Umer come close on the heels of severe criticism by incumbent chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani who not only blamed Pakistan for the intrusion but also lashed out at the United States for a change in its strategy.

Geelani had criticised the United States for betraying the Mujahideen (militants) during the recent Kargil conflict.

The Washington visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his agreeing to recall the militants is nothing but blatant unfaithfulness, Geelani said in a short review of Kargil conflict in a booklet published recently.

He had said Sharif had added insult to the injuries of Pakistani people and hundreds of militants fighting in Kargil. Sharif’s apologetic policy has mercilessly rubbed salt into the wounds of militants, Geelani had said. (PTI)


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