October 2000 News

Jihad Council takes Hizb back into its fold

23 October 2000
The Times of India

Islamabad: The United Jihad Council, an umbrella organisation of 15 militant groups active in Jammu and Kashmir, reinstated the Hizbul Mujahideen at an emergency meeting on Monday. The council also allowed Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin to return as chairman. The Hizb was ostracised for offering a unilateral ceasefire to the Indian government. ''The United Jihad Council is satisfied with the activities of the Hizbul Mujahideen workers and has restored the membership of Hizbul Mujahideen,'' said a statement issued by the council. The Hizb ceasefire collapsed after two weeks when New Delhi India refused to accept Pakistan at the negotiation table. India said it would talk to the militant groups, but would not open negotiations with Pakistan until it stopped its assistance to the insurgents. Pakistan denies giving direct assistance to the militants, but is sympathetic to their cause and offers moral and political support. However, the militant groups all have headquarters in Pakistan. A large gathering of Lashkar-e-Taiba, another militant group, was held last weekend in the southern port city of Karachi. At that meeting, demonstrations were given of mock ambushes of Indian soldiers. (AP)


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