Kashmiris to gain nothing from talks: UJC leader

20 May 2008
The Dawn
Not Sapecified

Muzaffarabad: A militant Kashmiri leader said on Tuesday the so-called peace process between Pakistan and India was based on an unnatural and unrealistic approach which held no hopes for the people of Kashmir. Syed Salahuddin, head of the United Jihad Council an alliance of militant organisations fighting Indian rule in occupied Kashmir, expressed the hope that Pakistan would raise the issue of Kashmir in keeping with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The statement of the UJC chief came after Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Islamabad and foreign ministry officials from both countries held talks. Mr Salahuddin said the process had only benefited India while Pakistan and the Kashmiris did not gain anything. India, he warned, would try to gain time to suppress the resistance movement in occupied Kashmir and demoralise the Kashmiris. He said that the Kashmiris had never pinned any hopes on bilateral talks because only supplementary issues had been discussed. He pointed out that Siachen, Sir Creek, Baghliar dam, Wullar barrage and trans-LoC bus or truck service, were linked with the core issue of Kashmir and no problem could be addressed by sidestepping it. The UJC chief stressed that unless Pakistan and India initiated a meaningful tripartite dialogue after acknowledging the disputed status of Kashmir, the present process would be fruitless. Mr Salahuddin also said that the dialogue had not provided any relief to the Kashmiris, adding that repression and human rights violations by the Indian occupation forces had increased. He warned that India wanted to construct as many dams as possible on Kashmiri waters to render the Pakistani land barren, destroy Pakistanís economy and hoodwink the international community.