March 2001 News

Ex-Hizb chief says Kashmir issue could be solved politically

4 March 2001
The Asian Age
Sumir Kaul

New Delhi: Former Hizbullah chief and now a senior Hurriyat leader Shahid-ul-Islam today said the Kashmir issue could be solved only "politically" and hoped that the centre would show 'sincerity" by allowing hurriyat leaders to visit Pakistan for holding talks with the militant leaders there. "I do not know why the centre is delaying a genuine process which is only aimed at converting the unilateral ceasefire into a multilateral one," Shahid, who is in the capital to meet some detenues in Tihar jail, told. Shahid, who has received arms training in Afghanistan, feels that the Kashmir issue could be solved politically but felt the "initial" armed struggle was necessary so as to highlight the Kashmir issue internationally. "I picked up the gun and I have no regrets," he said. The former Hizbullah chief, who had been critical of Hurriyat conference during his militant days, says now the amalgam was the right platform which could act as a "bridge" to solve the issue. An advocate by profession after studying science, Shahid said India should not hesitate to talk to Pakistani military ruler Gen Pervez Musharaff. "They have done in the past when Gen Zia-ul-Haq was there and moreover it is a great opportunity that an armyman is talking as no decision in Pakistan could be complete without the consent of the armed forces," he said.


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