October 2000 News

Hizb chief sees pressure on India for talks

16 October 2000
The Nation

ISLAMABAD: Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin Monday said internal pressure is mounting on India for ceasefire with the militants to pave the way for talks on Kashmir issue. ''There is no need for ceasefire from our side if India agrees for talks,'' Salahuddin told the BBC. ''Talks could be held even during the on going operations by Mujahideen,'' the Hizb chief said. ''If some one thinks that ceasefire is a must, then India should take the initiative and declare ceasefire first. It will show India''s sincerity about dialogue,'' he said. Salahuddin dispelled the impression that differences emerged within the Hizbul Mujahideen after the withdrawal of ceasefire and that orders have been issued for the killings of those who favour talks with India. ''The impression is malicious and is aimed at creating cracks within the Hizbul Mujahideen,'' he said. He said Mr. Dar and his colleagues are in the Kashmir valley and are carrying out operations. He said Mr. Dar led recent operations in Baramola, Pattan, Odhampur and attacks on JammuSrinagar main highway. The group removed commander in Pir Panjal regiment. They showed some resistance however later the situation was brought under control. At present, there is no tension and differences within the group. Asked about reports that India may agree to include Pakistan in the talks, he said the Hizbul Mujahideen had provided a golden opportunity to India for the solution of Kashmir dispute by announcing unilateral ceasefire but India adopted traditional delaying tactics and unnecessary conditions. Meanwhile, The Mujahideen have inflicted heavy losses on the Indian army during operations in different areas in occupied Kashmir. According to KMS reports that killing of six forces'' personnel and injuries to another twelve has been officially admitted. According to details, three army personnel were killed in an ambush by the Mujahideen at Mandi in Poonch district. Two other personnel seriously injured during the clash were shifted to hospital where they are stated to be in a precarious condition. In another fierce clash the Mujahideen killed two Indian soldiers, Om Kumar and Sundr Pratap Singh in the Mahoor area of district Udhampur. One Mujahid is reported to have embraced shahadat who could not be identified. Another Mujahid embraced shahadat during an encounter at Tangdar in Kamah. Details of losses suffered by the Indian army were not available when last reports came in. A deafening explosion shook Wagora area in Baramula while a Rashtria rifles patrolling party was passing through. The Indian troops immediately cordoned off the area and unleashed furious torture upon the residents. In Sopore, the Indian army suffered heavily during a rocket attack on the Maharajpura army camp in the night. The Indian troops later besieged the area and beat up people besides breaking the doors and windows of houses. A Mujahideen spokesman said, at least three Indian soldiers were killed and several others injured in the rocked attack. At Panapora in Pulwama, an encounter between the Mujahideen and the army personnel during a siege and search operation was continuing till the last reports came in. Mujahideen sources have said that a number of Indian soldiers have been killed and wounded during the clash.


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