SRINAGAR, Nov 9: Leaders in Indian-held Kashmir on Tuesday accused US President Barack Obama of double standards for criticising India`s silence on rights abuses in Myanmar but ignoring oppression in the disputed Himalayan 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 Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
“Here we also have peaceful protests that have been met with brute force but Obama chose to remain silent on that,” said Mir, a militant-turned-politician.
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,” he 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-held 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 influential politician Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.