June 2005 News

Hizb Chief Terms Indo-Pak Peace Process 'futile Exercise'

23 June 2005

Muzaffarabad: The chief of the Pakistan-based militant group Hizbul Mujahideen says the peace process between Pakistan and India is a 'futile exercise' and demands that India pull its troops out of Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview last night with The Associated Press, Syed Salahuddin said India has refused to let Kashmiri leaders join peace talks with the two countries, or redraw the boundary. 'On the basis of this we say that the peace process between Pakistan and India is a futile exercise,' Salahuddin said, speaking to AP at a friend's home in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 'We are in favour of dialogue ... But negotiations should be purposeful,' he said. The black-bearded Salahuddin said he doesn't oppose the peace process but vowed the militancy would continue at the same time as the dialogue. He said Hizbul Mujahideen was still ready to cooperate with India 'if she pulls out its forces to the position of 1989 as a goodwill gesture .... And releases all those (Kashmiri militants) detained in Indian jails.


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