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‘Israeli model’ for Kashmir? Indian diplomat sparks fury with Hindu resettlement idea

‘Israeli model’ for Kashmir? Indian diplomat sparks fury with Hindu resettlement idea
A senior Indian diplomat has come under fire after arguing that New Delhi ought to impose an ‘Israeli model’ to resettle Hindus into the disputed Kashmir territory, prompting cries of bigotry and demands for his resignation.

The controversial suggestion was posed by India’s consul general in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, during a private address to a group of Kashmiri Hindus, known as Pandits, many of whom fled violence in the region in the 1970s. The speech was captured on video and shared widely on social media.

I believe the security conditions in Jammu and Kashmir will improve. It will allow refugees to go back and in your lifetime, you will be able to go back… because we already have a model in the world,” Chakravorty told the audience, apparently referring to Israeli settlements.

I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East, you have to look, if the Israeli people can do it. We can also do it.

Israel has constructed some 140 Jewish-only settlement blocs in the West Bank, an Arab-majority territory it seized during the Six Day War in 1967, where it has since maintained a military occupation. Scores of states around the world have deemed the settlements to be in violation of international law, which until recently included the US. In a reversal of 40 years of US policy last week, however, the State Department recognized the settlements as lawful.

Also on rt.com Palestine warns breaking off relations with US over ‘legalization’ of West Bank settlements is imminent

Chakravorty’s recommendation that India follow Israel’s lead for Hindus in Kashmir was met with an outpouring of anger on social media, prompting the diplomat to backtrack, claiming his words were misconstrued.

Few critics were impressed, many wondering what “context” could explain the remarks, while others demanded an apology and insisted he step down from his position.

“India is a vast country with Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhist and Hindus,” one user said. “You represent all of them and once you get clarity on that only then will you not make comments like you made. You are not a politician.”

The scandal erupted just ahead of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, which Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi marked by slamming Israel’s settlement enterprise as illegal, reaffirming “India’s strong support for the Palestinian cause.” After a visit to the occupied territories last year – the first Indian PM to do so – he said he hoped to see an “independent Palestinian state living in an environment of peace.”

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