India takes exception to Iran's remarks
By Daily excelsior on Friday, November 19, 2010"India had been very much disappointed by Mr Khameini’s remarks which were a clear interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation."
NEW DELHI, Nov 19: Taking serious note of Iranian Supreme leader Ayotollah Ali Khamenei recent remarks on Kashmir, India today issued a demarche to the Iranian Charge D’ffairs here to lodge its strong protest. Government sources said the country also decided to abstain from voting on a Canadian Resolution in the UN on human rights violations in Iran as against its earlier practice of voting against such resolution.
The Ayotollah in his message on the occasion of the Hajj had called upon Muslim elite worldwide to ‘‘support the struggle of the Kashmiri people.’’
The Iranian CDA was called by the Joint Secretary, PAI here and told that India had been very much disappointed by Mr Khameini’s remarks which were a clear interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.
He was told that his leaders had disregarded India’s sensitivities on the issue.
India has been noting the statements of the Iranian leaders made during the last few months and found that they were at variance with the usual Iranian position on Kashmir which was that it was an internal matter of India, sources said.
It was clear that the decision to abstain from voting on the Canadian Resolution was certainly based on the change in the Iranian position on Kashmir as reflected in Ali Khameini’s statement.
When the Ministry of External Affairs was asked whether there was any link between the Indian decision on Iranian statements on Kashmir, an MEA official said, ‘‘the decision has been taken after due deliberations.’’
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his message called upon the Muslim elite of the world to back the "struggle" in Jammu and Kashmir. He equated Kashmir with the "nations" of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
"Today the major duties of the elite of the Islamic Ummah is to provide help to the Palestinian nation and the besieged people of Gaza, to sympathise and provide assistance to the nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Kashmir, to engage in struggle and resistance against the aggressions of the United States and the Zionist regime," Khamenei said in a message to Haj pilgrims.
Lodging a strong protest against such statement, which had started coming in from the Iranian leaders during the last three months, India told the Iranian CDA that it respected and valued its relationship with Iran but it had taken this change in their position very seriously.
The response of the Iranian side to the protest by India was not immediately available.
According to sources, though the Iranian leaders’ statement on Kashmir could not be taken as a complete setback to the relations between the countries, as India and Iran have convergence on so many other issues, the development was certainly worrying.
There was also a feeling in some circles that Mr Khamenei’s statement could be seen in a larger perspective as his message was addressed to Muslim Umma in general.
Since Iranian authorities had been reiterating their position on Kashmir without any change of stand for the last several years, the statement of Ali Khamenei could also suggest that there might be more than one centre of power in Iran, an aspect which is not disregarded by India.
Meanwhile, in the voting on the Canadian resolution, Saudi Arabia along with India is also one of the notable abstainer.
Some other important OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries) members had also not been voting against the resolution.
Earlier, this resolution had been brought in by the EU, but since 2003 this initiative has been taken up by Canada.
This year, there were 80 votes in favour of the resolution, 44 against it and 57 abstentions. (UNI)