July 2000 News

Hurriyat thumbs down Hizbul truce

26 July 2000
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Divisions among militant outfits in Jammu and Kashmir surfaced today with the Hurriyat Conference disapproving the unilateral ceasefire announced by Hurriyat Conference whose chief Syed Salahuddin was sacked from an umbrella organisation of the Pakistan-based militants for endorsing the ceasefire. The Army, meanwhile, asked security forces not to take any action that may jeopardise the peace process. The Hurriyat Conference, in its first formal reaction, said Hizbul Mujahideen ''should not have taken such a hasty step at this crucial and important juncture of the movement.'' ''Half-hearted political gestures and unilateral steps may prove a hurdle in the way of a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue,'' a two-page statement issued by Hurriyat said. In Islamabad, the United Jehad Council (UJC), an alliance of 14 Pakistan-based militant groups, dismissed the supreme leader of HM Syed Salahuddin from its chairman and suspended the outfit. Salahuddin had yesterday approved the three-month ceasefire declared by his ''Commander of Chief'' in Jammu and Kashmir Abdul Majid Dar. The council told a press conference in Islamabad that the ceasefire offer by HM was a ''sell-out'' and vowed to continue the Jehad (holy war). General Officer Commanding in Chief of Srinagar-based 15th Corps Lt Gen J R Mukherjee said Army authorities supervising and coordinating anti-militancy operation have instructed security forces not to take any action that may jeopardise the peace proces. In New Delhi, Defence Minster George Fernandes said the ceasefire declared by HM showed there was a ''rethinking'' among the militant groups following India''s victory in Kargil conflict.


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