‘I Am Appalled, Ashamed’, Salman Khursheed On Kunanposhpora

KL Report


SALMAAN-KHURSHID-28-AIndia’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed on Friday said he is ashamed of what happen in Kunan Poshpora, a Kupwara village where the womenfolk was subjected to gang rape during a cordon and search operation.

“Well what can I say?” Khursheed told a questioner during a Congress-sponsored interactive session in a city hotel. “I can only say I am ashamed that it happened in my country.”

Khursheed was responding to a reporter who asked him if he felt ashamed over the gang-rape of a Delhi girl in Germany, what does he feel about the village that was gang-raped by soldiers in 1991? Khursheed was part of the huge team that the then Prime Minister Narasimaha Rao constituted to fight a resolution against India over its human rights records in a UN body.

“I am honestly appalled that this has happened to my family. I may even say that I am shocked that I am not able to do anything about it,” the minister said to a spell bound audience in a function that PCC Chief Prof Saif ud Din Soz conducted.

The minister said that the situation in nineties was like war. “So many people who don’t deserve to suffer, suffered in a war,” he said. “And at the end of the war you still shake hands, you sign a peace document and you begin to talk to very people who have been killing or marauding you.” He termed it a moral and emotional dilemma.

“At the end of the day, is there a choice between choosing that we forget, if we can, correct as we must and make people accountable as is necessary and then learn to move on?” Salman Khursheed said. He asked audience to study former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who is currently unwell. “You will know what forgiveness is, you will know what struggle is and you will know what building hope out of despair is,” he asserted.

The minister said that it is plain human nature to learn to move forward for which conditions need to be laid. “It is not simply that you hit me in the face and say forget it, it does not matter and tell me to move forward,” he argued. “There are some things that are necessary to move forward.”

Salman said there is the requirement of having a conversation with the hurt and move towards addressing the hurt one has felt. “But you have a right to repeat,” he asserted.

After 22 years of the tragedy, the Kunan is back in news for the last few months. While they have won a case in SHRC, the victims have led to the re-opening of the case. It is currently being heard by a district court in Kupwara.





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