Srinagar: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday expressed remorse over the mass rape of women allegedly by an army unit in North Kashmir`s Kunan-Poshpora villages in 1991 and said he is ashamed that such an incident happened in the country.
"I am ashamed that it (Kunan-Poshpora mass rape incident) happened in my country...To my family...I am shocked that I am not able to do anything about it," Khurshid told reporters after interacting with a select group of civil society members.
Nearly 50 women, from teenage girls to septuagenarians, were allegedly raped by an army unit at Kunan-Poshpora villages in February 1991.
Though police had filed a closure report in the case after 22 years, a local court earlier this month directed the police to reinvestigate the case and identify the perpetrators of the crime.
Khurshid said there was a need to move forward as happens in case of a war where two sides suffer and yet talk peace at the end of the day.
"It`s like war. So many people, who don`t deserve to suffer, suffered in a war. And at the end of the war, you still shake hands, you sign a peace document and you begin to talk to the very people who have been killing an marauding you. It`s a moral dilemma, it`s an emotional dilemma.
"At the end of the day, there is a choice between choosing what we forget, if we can, correct as we must and make people accountable as is necessary and then learn to move on," the union minister said.
Khurshid cited example of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
"If you study the life of Mr Mandela, you will know what forgiveness is, you will know what struggle is and you will know what building hope out of despair is," he said.
He said there were certain conditions on which people can move forward.
"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. There are some things that are necessary to move forward. You can start the conversation with the hurt and move towards addressing the hurt you have felt," he said.