Hizbul Mujahideen Calls For Unity Among Rebels
1 March 2007
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Defending its supreme commander Syed Salahuddin for lending support to the four-point formula put forth by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for resolution of the Kashmir issue, the Hizbul Mujahideen on Thursday called for unity among the separatist leadership. 'Reactions by some persons to the recent statement of Syed Salahuddin is uncalled for and unfortunate,' Hizbul's chief operational commander Gazi Misbah-ud-din said in a statement to a local news agency in Srinagar. Salahuddin, who heads POK-based United Jehad Council (UJC) - an umbrella unit of 14 militant groups - recently said Musharraf's formula of demilitarisation, phased withdrawal of troops, free movement of people and goods along LOC and self-governance could mark a beginning for resolution of Kashmir issue but the durable solution lies only in the right to self- determination. The statement drew mixed response from separatist and militant leaders with moderate fraction of Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq welcoming it while the hardline wing headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other groups opposing saying the formula, if implemented, would prove fatal for the ongoing movement. Upset over disunity in the political leadership, Misbah-ud-din urged pro-movement political leaders to forge unity and move forward together towards the realisation of the objective instead of resorting to hairsplitting of statements.