Hizb Chief Hails Peace Moves, Rules Out Truce
12 May 2003
The Times of India
Rawalpindi: Syed Salahuddin, founder of Hizbul Mujahideen, hailed the peace moves by Pakistan and India on Sunday but dismissed the possibility of an immediate ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. He, however, did not rule out a truce in the future if Pakistan and India showed progress toward settling their long standing dispute over Kashmir. 'A ceasefire is not necessary for dialogue,' he said. 'Armed struggle and dialogue can go simultaneously as was the case in Afghanistan and Vietnam.' 'A ceasefire will reciprocate the development of this bilateral exercise (between Pakistan and India),' he said. 'If there is any sincerity shown by the parties in addressing the issue, then (we) will give a positive response.' Salahuddin said militants operating in Kashmir welcomed the recent moves - provided they led to the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. 'The situation will not normalise with the upgrading of diplomatic relations, resumption of cricket matches and road and rail links between the two countries,' he said. 'The foremost thing is to restore the confidence of the people of Kashmir and address the main issue (of Kashmir).'