Armed struggle will continue till Kashmir free: MJC
24 April 2005
The Daily Times
Islamabad: The Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC) has said that militant organisations will not give up their weapons till Jammu and Kashmir is freed from Indian rule.MJC Chairman Syed Salahuddin told Daily Times on Sunday that people suggesting times had changed and the role of the gun in liberation movements after 9-11 had ended were living in a 'fools paradise'.'Let me make it clear that nobody will lay down his or her weapon till Kashmir is liberated,' he added. Certain conditions would have to be met if, at any stage, President Pervez Musharraf or any other dignitary called for a ceasefire for a certain period to facilitate the current composite dialogue process with India, Salahuddin said.'Firstly, MJC leaders will consider the ceasefire call, secondly, the Indian government has to admit that Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory and thirdly, the demand for the release of Kashmiri prisoners from Indian jails and an end to military operations and atrocities by the Indian Army will have to be met,' he added.About the recent Indian offer of talking to militant leaders, he said they (militants) were not ready to be part of a dialogue at the cost of freedom and that the freedom struggle would continue till Kashmir's liberation.'MJC leaders have unflinching trust in Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (Geelani faction), and therefore the council doesn't see any reason to talk to the Indians. The MJC will consider taking part in talks if the Pakistani government and Geelani think so, but the 'freedom struggle' won't be stopped till Kashmiris are given the right of self-determination,' he said.Kashmir's political leaders should set aside their differences and unite, he added. Asked if Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was ready to talk to the Indians, Salahuddin said the MJC would 'not spare' any Kashmiri including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq or Geelani if they compromised with the Indian government on Kashmir's liberation.Talking about the current India-Pakistan dialogue, he said Kashmiris would not gain anything from it. 'President Musharraf was calling the joint statement issued during his visit to New Delhi 'successful beyond expectations', but his statement is self- deceiving,' he added.'The Pakistani government is retreating from its stance on Kashmir every day and the policies of previous Pakistani governments and the present government have damaged the Kashmir cause. Every agreement, from the Simla accord to the New Delhi declaration, has dented Kashmir's liberation,' Salahuddin said.The MJC was not against the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service, but was against the procedures under which it was started because it feared that the service was an attempt to create soft borders, he said, adding, 'The bus service has put the real issue on the backburner.'We are not against the Pakistani government, but being Kashmiris we have the right to show our concern over the Pakistani government's Kashmir policy,' he said. Unilateral confidence- building measures would not help resolve Kashmir, he said, adding that even the Pakistani Foreign Office was not condemning Indian brutality in Kashmir. He said that everybody in Pakistan was 'selling his or her own theory' to resolve the issue, which clearly indicated that Pakistan's stance on the issue had weakened.