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Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
Outlook.com

Nelson's Roving Eye

Mandela brings up J&K at a non-aligned summit, raising the hackles of India

Nelson's Roving Eye
Nelson's Roving Eye
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

THE mercurial president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, angered Indonesia when he urged former president Suharto to free East Timorese rebel leader Xanana Gusmao; he earned the disapproval of the US when he went to Libya to meet president Muammar Gaddafi; and he astounded the world when he kissed the Spice Girls. Mandela is nothing if not unconventional, and when he chose the precincts of an ostensibly non-controversial non-aligned summit to mention the K-word, it unsettled India.

"All of us remain concerned that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir should be solved through peaceful negotiation and should be willing to lend all the strength we have to the resolution of this matter," Mandela remarked at NAM's inaugural address in Durban. India flipped, for this was no mistake. Mandela's speeches, all of which have his final approval, are deemed fine literary essays, and his team of writers come highly recommended.

Why did one of the world's leading statesmen raise an issue that India has repeatedly said should not be...

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