UJC open to serious Kashmir truce offer
6 September 2007
The Daily Times
Srinagar: The United Jihad Council (UJC) said on Thursday that it would consider a ceasefire in Kashmir if a sincere and serious offer came from some respectable quarter. On the eve of the upcoming month of Ramadhan if a sincere and serious offer of ceasefire comes from some responsible quarter the armed leadership will consider it in the light of the prevailing situation and respond accordingly, United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahudin told Kashmir News Service. He said New Delhi had not approached his group directly or indirectly. He did not say whether the ceasefire would be limited. A number of Kashmiri political groups, including the main opposition National Conference and moderate separatists, have been urging New Delhi to declare a ceasefire in Muslim-majority Kashmir to mark Ramazan. Salahudin, who also heads the regions most powerful rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, said that if an offer of a ceasefire came, a collective decision would be taken after consulting all militant leaders in the region. Hizbul Mujahideen announced a unilateral ceasefire in July 2000 but withdrew it within a fortnight after India refused to involve Pakistan in negotiations over the future of Kashmir. Later that same year, New Delhi declared a unilateral ceasefire. It resumed counter-insurgency operations after six months when the rebels did not reciprocate the ceasefire. Militants in the past have sought trilateral talks involving India, Pakistan and Kashmiris on the future of the restive Himalayan region as a condition of a ceasefire.