July 2001 News

Talks over, Jehad to continue

16 July 2001
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Even before Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Pakistani President general Pervez Musharraf had concluded their talks, united Jehad Council chairman and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salhuddin today said that jehad in Kashmir would continue till the final resolution of Kashmir. ‘‘We welcome the Agra summit, but our basic ojective is the resolution of Kashmir and until the Kashmir problem is solved, the jehad will continue,’’ Hizbul chief spokesman Saleem Hashmi said over phone from Islamabad quoting Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin. When asked whether they would continue their militant activity if there were a break-through in talks, he said ‘‘you can see the instances in other armed conflict areas. Struggle never ends unless the dispute is resolved.’’ Salahuddin said their struggle against ‘‘Indian rule in Kashmir is justified and would continue till the Indian forces vacate the state’’. He said Kashmir was the core issue and should be addressed according to its historic background. ‘‘India should shun its rigid stand on Kashmir. They should accept that Kashmir is a disputed issue and needs to be solved under UN resolution or through tripartite talks. India should read the writing on the wall and solve the problem. Guns cannot fall silent unless the core issue is solved,’’ Salahuddin said. He said the way Musharraf was pleading on the Kashmir issue is encouraging and ‘‘we are hopeful something concrete will come out during the summit. If India adopts a realistic approach and respects the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir and also fulfil commitments of their leaders on Kashmir, there is no reason why the Kashmir issue will not be solved.’’ Salahuddin said the ‘‘killing of six labourers in Baramulla, four youth in Kralpora, Kupwara and two civilians, including a nine-year- old girl in Anantnag, exposed India’s double standards on Kashmir. In one hand, they are inviting Musharraf for talks to solve the Kashmir issue and on the other hand they are killing innocent civilians.’’ Salahuddin, who is also the chairman of the UJC — conglomerate of 12- militant groups based in PoK — denied that any militant was killed in Surenkote in Poonch on Sunday. Officials said 21 militants had been killed in two separate encounters at Surankote in Jammu on Sunday. ‘‘We have ascertained that no active militant of any outfit has been killed in Surankote. All the mujahideen operating in the area are safe. We fear Indian troops might have picked up civilians and killed them or got some mujahideen from jails and killed them to show a major success against militants,’’ Hashmi quoted Salahuddin while saying. Adding that by killing these people, India was using a double-edged weapon. ‘‘They want to demoralise the mujahideen and also want to press Musharraf to stop the activity of mujahideen in Kashmir,’’ he said.


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