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Obama's Kashmir mention will be potentially explosive

Agencies | Last Modified - Nov 02, 2010, 11:36 AM IST

Obama and Manmohan Singh need to cooperate to help Pakistan solve its jihadist nightmar.
  • Obama's Kashmir mention will be potentially explosive
    Obama's Kashmir mention will be potentially explosive

    Washington: Any mention of Kashmir by US President Barack Obama during his trip to India can be potentially explosive, a top American strategic expert has said, adding that Pakistan will dominate in his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    obama_288Noting that Obama's visit would take place against the backdrop of the revival of Kashmiri question, Bruce Riedel of Brookings Institute in his latest comment on the region said that Pakistan will move to capitalise on the unrest.

    "The intifada that exploded this summer in Kashmir cannot be ignored by the President during the visit but any comments on it will be potentially explosive," said Riedel, a former CIA official, who is a known American expert on South Asian affairs.

    He said Obama and Singh need to cooperate to help Pakistan solve its jihadist nightmare.

    On the other hand, hundreds of Sikhs held a protest rally in front of the United Nations, asking him to raise the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots before the Indian parliament.

    "He (Obama) must raise this issue in his speech to the India parliament," said Gurpatwant Pannun, lawyer for Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a US based group that organised the rally here Monday.

    "We also want the UN to intervene to bring the perpetrators to justice," he said. In September, Bakhshish Singh Sandhu, coordinator of Sikhs For Justice had met Obama briefly to describe the events of 1984 and asked him to take up the matter in New Delhi, the group said.

    Pannun noted that despite several attempts made by the Sikhs to bring the matter to the attention of the Obama administration, the president had not included any discussion of the anti-Sikh riots in his agenda.

    "Obama cannot trade dollars with blood; we want him to pay tribute to the Sikhs who died," he said.

    SFJ also announced that widows of Nov 1984 anti Sikh riots will also hold a protest rally on Nov 8 when President Obama will be addressing the Indian parliament.

    "The purpose of the protest is to remind the president that Sikhs and other religious minorities of India have been victims of violence and as president of United States he has moral and legal obligation to address the violation of human rights," it said.

    SFJ has also initiated a case against Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath in New York for his alleged role in the killings.

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