Hizb Calls For Renewed Jihad In Kashmir
22 June 2005
New Delhi: Saying he is not 'fond of shedding blood' Syed Salahuddin, supreme commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, has egged his terror squad to prepare for jihad against India. Increasingly marginalised by India, the people of Kashmir and pushed into a corner by the Indian Army, Salahuddin sought to energise his hordes to carry out fresh attacks in India to keep Kashmir on the broil and thereby in the headlines of newspapers all over the world as well as in the centre of the vision of governments across the Earth. Pakistan's The News, reporting that Salahuddin had rejected the calls for ceasefire that would have been in consonance with the ongoing India-Pakistani rapprochement, said the terrorist chief termed the efforts of Indian and Pakistani leaders to bring both countries closer, as a 'waste of time'. In a related article, AFP quoted him, 'The need for an organised and massive armed struggle has increased today more than ever and the Kashmiri youth need to prepare themselves for fighting in maximum numbers'. His stance as well as the timing are a bit strange as a delegation of the moderate group Hurriyat have just returned from Pakistan, from what seems like a very successful effort to keep the peace pipe burning. The News too raises an eyebrow, so to speak, saying it comes less than two months after the group's chief operational commander said the Hizb would 'seriously consider' any ceasefire offer by New Delhi to end bloodshed in Kashmir. However, he did put forth his rider to effecting negotiations by reiterating India reduce the Army's presence to pre- 1989 positions, as well as release all those terrorists held in Indian jails and stop human rights violations. AFP reports him saying, 'In the absence of these steps, no one should expect that we would unilaterally lay down our weapons. So far India is constantly showing stubbornness and seems to be completely unwilling to accept the ground realities, which leaves us with no choice but to strengthen the jihad'. Exactly what meaning should be attached to his words is unclear. Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf and his Army have control over all terror groups carrying out attacks on India. So, it seems highly unlikely that Salahuddin would be saying anything contrary to the wishes of the General. So, while Musharraf goes around with a bag of carrots, he is brandishing the 'stick' through these terror merchants. That begs a question. Does the General really want to end the violence in Kashmir? This reveals a three-point scenario: 1) The General is saying to India that he has very little time and that it should promptly agree to a formal peace pact on Kashmir 2) The General is totally uninterested in peace on the sub-continent and that he is acting the peace-maker merely to gain some diplomatic mileage and money from the US 3) The General wants a periodic spike in terror attacks in India. After all this very situation has brought him to power (after the Kargil War that he started) and the continuation of the war-like situation will ensure that the US and the West keep him in power in Pakistan as a bastion against the spread of Islamic terror. Unfortunately, this means that the General has ensured, through his intransigence, that innocent men, women and increasingly children are killed everyday in Kashmir.