Jehad council flays moderate leaders
23 April 2002
B Muralidhar Reddy
ISLAMABAD: The United Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of Pakistan-based militant groups fighting in Kashmir, has taken a strong exception to the recent meeting of moderate Kashmiri leaders from India and Pakistan at Sharjah and said ''jehad'' was the only option to ''liberate'' Kashmir. The UJC, which met today at Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), under the chairmanship of the Hizb-ul Mujahideen chief, Syed Salahuddin, was of the view that the people of Kashmir were forced to take recourse to ''jehad'' as a reaction to the ''oppressive'' policies of the Indian Government. A resolution adopted by the UJC said ''target oriented attacks'' would continue in Kashmir to further the cause of ''jehad''. It was particularly critical of Abdul Ghani Lone, who is believed to have spoken at Sharjah against foreign militants in the Valley. It urged the leaders of Kashmir who are talking of supporting negotiations with the Indian Government to take note of its ''track record in the last 53 years'' and not to belittle the sacrifices made by thousands of people in Kashmir. Shujaat Bukhari reports from Srinagar: In a statement issued from Muzaffarabad, the UJC spokesman, Salim Hashmi, said the failure to find a political solution to the Kashmir issue resulted in the birth of the armed struggle, which would continue till the goal was achieved. Those ''rejected'' leaders who talked of adopting political means to resolve the issue should understand that the Centre had not shown any flexibility. India was yet to accept Kashmir as a disputed site and there was no let-up in the presence of armed forces in Kashmir. Those who were talking of putting an end to the armed struggle were strengthening the hands of the ''enemy''. India must take steps to resolve the issue in accordance with the U.N. resolutions, he said.