Hizbul chief talks of Ireland model for Kashmir
17 December 2007
The Indian Express
Srinagar: In an indication of militant groups exploring fresh ground for a solution, Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin has expressed his readiness to accept a Northern Ireland-like agreement for Kashmir. He has hailed the Ireland model as “a good beginning”, which could be built upon for a permanent settlement of Kashmir. Salahuddin, who is also the chairman of the militant conglomerate, United Jihad Council, has rejected Musharraf’s four-point proposals, which like the Irish agreement, is also based on a spirit of give and take. Musharraf’s proposals, Salahuddin says, are not concrete and only created confusion. Even though essentially a change in the semantics, this is for the first time that the Hizbul chief has cited a new solution model for Kashmir, beside the demand for the implementation of United Nation’s resolutions on the state. “UN resolutions have their place and cannot be done away with. But the Irish model can be a good starting point which can lead us incrementally towards a solution for Kashmir,” he said. However, at the same time, Salahuddin said that militants were committed to the path of armed struggle and that there was no pressure on them from Pakistan to curb their activities. “In fact, militancy is now more vibrant and self- sufficient,” he said adding that no Government in Pakistan could stop the jihad in Kashmir. “Even if Pakistan refuses to support us in future, we have the capability to carry forward our struggle,” he added. Salahuddin also called upon the separatist politicians in Kashmir to close their ranks. “It is unfortunate that the separatist block in Kashmir is split in different groups. This has worked to the advantage of India. It would be better if the various political formations give up their ego tussles and join hands,” he said.