Dispute over Kashmir

Updated 18 January 2013
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Dispute over Kashmir

Following the latest clashes along the line dividing the arch rivals in Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday there could be no business as usual with Pakistan.
But I would like to point out that at the time of partition of the Indian subcontinent, the state of Kashmir was a princely state. It was supposed have been allowed self-determination, but that has remained a dream to this day.
On the eve of independence, the Hindu king of a predominantly Muslim Kashmir wanted to remain independent but his people wanted union with Pakistan. King’s refusal to do so led to disturbances and widespread protests. In the face of massive opposition from his own people he fled the state. His subsequent attempts to affect a crackdown failed and he turned to India for help and the latter immediately invaded the state on Oct. 27, 1947.
Later the Indians claimed that the Maharajah had acceded to India. There was no public comment from the maharajah who vanished and later died in mysterious circumstances in Delhi. The Indian claim was based on the so-called “Instrument of Accession,” supposed to have been signed by the king of Kashmir in order to obtain India’s military help against a popular revolt.
In a broadcast on All-India Radio on Nov. 2, 1947, the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru pledged: “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is to be ultimately decided by the people.
That pledge we have given, and the maharajah (king) has supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it.” Despite this pledge, self-determination has remained an unfulfilled dream to the people of Kashmir.
What is really disturbing is that Kashmir was denied the right to self-determination in the middle of the 20th century by people who have the audacity to boast of their democracy. — Israrul Haque, Jeddah


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia