UJC chief calls Delhi talks disappointing
8 September 2004
Our Staff Correspondent
Muzaffarabad: Syed Salahuddin, Chairman of the United Jihad Council and supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, has described the talks between Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers as 'highly disappointing and unsuccessful'. 'The people of Kashmir and the Mujahideen (fighters) were already without hopes that these talks would reach any conclusion to pave way for the just settlement of Kashmir issue,' he said in a statement. The past 56 years' history of talks between the two countries bore testimony to the fact that India had always demonstrated deceit, intransigence and hypocrisy, and its target had never been resolution of the issue, but to gain benefits by raising the ancillary issues such as Bhagliar Dam, Siachen and Wullar Barrage, Mr Salahuddin said, adding that the Indians wanted to sideline the basic issue and gain maximum time to carry on their repressive measures in the held territory. The UJC chief asserted that India had initiated talks under international pressure so as to give false impression that it wanted to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including Kashmir, through dialogue. 'One of the motives of staging the sham process of talks was to cover up the genocide and worst human rights violations in held Kashmir being committed by 800,000 Indian troops for the past 15 years and India had been successful in its plans to a great extent.' Mr Salahuddin said the confidence-building measures taken by Pakistan to normalize relations with its eastern neighbour had also been utilized by India for its 'ulterior motives'. India erected fence along the Line of Control by taking benefit of the unilateral ceasefire by Pakistan, and contended that the move had become possible only after the tacit approval of Islamabad, he said. Similarly, India also gained undue benefit from the revival ofroad and air links by Pakistan and tried to give the impression from the exchange of delegations that the partition of the subcontinent was unnatural and both countries should reunite, he added. The UJC chief further said that there had been no mention of Kashmir during the eight months of talks and instead India had laid entire emphasis on the normalization of bilateral relations. He said that it was being expected that Kashmir would surface, even formally, in the agenda of the parleys between the two foreign ministers, but 'the way Kashmir had been deleted from the agenda of the talks suggested that India was completely unwilling to hold any meaningful talks on this long running issue'. 'India has been tried and tested time and again in the past and wisdom demands that Pakistan should avoid being deceived again at its hands,' he said, asking Islamabad to make the process of talks conditional to meaningful discussion on Kashmir. 'If India does not come to terms, then it's appropriate to sever the futile exercise.' Mr Salahuddin warned that if talks continued without discussing the core issue of Kashmir then it might increase the misgivings among the Kashmiris and help India succeed in its designs. He also appealed to the international community, particularly the big powers, to put pressure on India to grant right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people for the sake of lasting peace and stability in South Asia.