November 2000 News

Talk to Delhi at your peril, Masood''s outfit warns

26 November 2000
The Times of India

Srinagar: The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad has warned all political parties, including the Hurriyat Conference and militant outfits in the Kashmir Valley, against showing readiness to hold talks with the Central government. ''We warn all those who welcome the ceasefire announced by Indian Prime Minister and expressed readiness for holding talks with India of serious consequences if they did not stop issuing statements on this count,'' a Jaish spokesman said. The militant outfit - formed by Pakistani national Maulana Masood Azhar after he won freedom from Indian jail along with two others in exchange for the passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane last December - said there could be no talks with India unless and until the Indian Army was recalled from Kashmir. The outfit maintained that Jihad was the only solution to the Kashmir dispute. The spokesman said the political parties that had welcomed the ceasefire had in fact no base in Kashmir nor had the people ever accepted them as their representatives. He alleged it was because of these parties that the ''freedom movement'' in Kashmir had to face a number of problems. Leaders of these political parties were all set to hold talks with India, which the outfit would never allow, he added. The Jaish expressed grief and anguish over the massacre of five Sikh truckers on the Srinagar-Jammu highway and said it was the ''handiwork of Indian security forces to defame the militants and give a communal tinge to the freedom movement''.


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