September 2006 News

No ceasefire until conditions are met: Hizb

20 September 2006
The Hindu
Nirupama Subramanian

Islamabad: Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based militant group operating in Kashmir, said on Wednesday that a ceasefire was possible only if the Indian Government agreed to the conditions that it had set nearly six years ago. Ehsan Elahi, a spokesman for the Hizb, told The Hindu that the group would not call a ceasefire for Ramzan as requested by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad last week, or later, unless those conditions were met. The conditions, set after the group revoked its 2000 ceasefire, are that India should accept Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory; should scale back troops to pre-1989 positions; stop 'human rights violations' in Kashmir; and release all political prisoners unconditionally. Mr. Elahi said the final decision for a ceasefire rested with the United Jihad Council, which comprises several militant groups waging a war in Kashmir. He reiterated a reported statement by the Hizb leadership in Srinagar on Tuesday that the meeting in Havana between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf was 'meaningless.' 'Any steps to ease tensions between the two countries are admirable but unless there is a result on the issue of Kashmir, the main bone of contention, all these meetings are meaningless,' Mr. Elahi said. He said any attempt to find a solution to the Kashmir issue must involve the Kashmiri leadership.


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