Hizb rules out ceasefire in Kashmir
12 August 2005
The Daily Times
Srinagar: The largest rebel group in Indian held Kashmir won't agree to any ceasefire, its spokesman said in an interview released on Friday, declaring that insurgents needed to be stronger to achieve their aim of wresting the Himalayan region from India. Political parties and moderate separatist groups have long urged Kashmiri rebel groups to agree to a ceasefire with India - a move the spokesman for the Hezb- ul-Mujahedeen, Junaid-ul-Islam, dismissed in an interview with the Kashmir Press Service. 'The need of the hour is to make ourselves stronger rather than thinking about a ceasefire,' he was quoted as saying. Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen would keep fighting until it had liberated Kashmir from India. The group plans to acquire more arms and ammunition and 'keep on making fresh recruits,' Islam said. Meanwhile, thousands of police with automatic weapons and mine detectors searched homes, cars and a soccer stadium in Indian held Kashmir, as part of beefed up security aimed at preventing attacks by separatists ahead of India's Independence Day celebrations. The soccer stadium in Srinagar, the capital of Indian held Kashmir, is the main venue for Monday's events marking the day in 1947 when India won independence from Britain. Tight security was in place at the stadium, said Police Inspector General Javed Makhdoomi. Soldiers equipped with electronic surveillance devices took up positions on high-rise buildings around the stadium. Roads leading to it have also been closed and nearly 10,000 police and paramilitary troops will be deployed for the event, Makhdoomi said. 'We are maintaining a hawk's vigil over the city,' he said.