Gun Silencing Order Stands: UJC Chief

20 September 2008
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: The chairman of the United Jehad Council, Syed Salahuddin, has called upon the Kashmir Coordination Committee (KCC) to use special strategies in formulating its agitation programmes in view of the difficulties faced by the public, and to take the pro-freedom people of the Jammu region into confidence at every level. He upheld the orders to halt militant activities in civilian areas, and said that the military intervention of Israel would have no impact on the armed struggle in Kashmir, and asked Islamic nations to snap trade and diplomatic relations with India. In a telephonic interview to the KNS, the UJC chief said that the current mass movement in Kashmir should continue at all costs, but the need was for the leadership, particularly the coordination committee, to formulate programmes in such a way that the tempo was maintained, but minimal hardships were caused to the people. “To maintain the zeal and fervour of the people, programmes should be devised with a special strategy respecting the vulnerabilities of the public,” Salahuddin said. “This should be done because 85 per cent of the people depend on their day’s earnings for their evening meal. Their plight, too, has to be taken into consideration,” he said. When asked whether he opposed strikes, Salahuddin said: “Strikes should be observed only when necessary. Partial strikes can be called when the need arises. In any case, we are going through a constant struggle.” “Ours is a long-drawn struggle, and to sustain this miraculous uprising with full fervour programmes should be devised such that people get a chance to earn their livelihoods and pressure is mounted on India on political and diplomatic levels,” he said. Describing the survival of the coordination committee as “extremely essential” for unity among the leadership, Salahuddin said that mutual and constant contact between the leadership was necessary to defeat the attempts by intelligence agencies to create cracks in the committee “for which India was spending a flood of money and resources.” “Unity and agreement are the crucial need of the hour, and side-by-side steps should be taken for consultations with the pro-freedom leadership of Jammu and taking it into confidence at every level, so that no attempt to divide the state is allowed to succeed,” he said. Salahuddin said that Jammu had played a key role in sacrifices and action, and therefore taking the pro-freedom leadership of Jammu into confidence was in the interests of the movement. “Now that the campaign of oppression and excesses by the forces is getting prolonged, the demand for elections by pro-India groups is ridiculous and a waste of time,” he said. “Such elements should be exposed, and if need be, the public should be urged to subject them to a social boycott,” he said. In reply to a question, Salahuddin said that a working relationship between the Hurriyat factions was extremely necessary, and leaders outside the fold, too, should be included in the efforts. “If anyone has a problem with anybody’s inclusion in the coordination committee, we should take the path of accommodation and reconciliation so that the collective interests of the people are not harmed. Reacting to the recent Kashmir trip of the chief of the Israeli armed forces, UJC chief said that the secret visit of the Israeli general and the offer of technical training to India were a brazen violation of international law and norms, which, he said, was condemnable. “Israel’s intelligence and military intervention will in no way impact the armed struggle in Kashmir, but Pakistan has the duty to apprise international institutions about Israel’s involvement, and agitate the issue forcefully,” he said. Salahuddin asked Pakistan to convene an international conference to draw attention to the oppression of the Indian forces in Kashmir, and said that the role of the OIC should be limited to mere lip sympathy. “If the OIC wants to render concrete assistance to Kashmiris, all Islamic countries should severe all sorts of diplomatic and trade ties with India,” he said. He said that the OIC had not been able to constitute a single fact-finding group on Kashmir till now, basically because Islamic nations had neither the intention nor the capability to take practical steps about Kashmir. “This is why India treats OIC resolutions and demands with contempt. If the OIC is sincere, it should snap relations with India,” he said. Upholding the orders to suspended militant activities in the plains, the UJC chief assured taking serious note of the killing of two personnel in Pulwama and Srinagar, saying that the operations had not been conducted under any organizational directive but were a result of a misunderstanding or personal reasons. “I consider it a flouting of the UJC directive. But militant activities can go on unpopulated areas where there are protests and rallies,” he said. Salahuddin, however, said that the qualified hold on militant activities should not be construed as a ceasefire. Reacting to statements from the Save Kashmir Movement, the Al Nasireen and the Al Mansurain groups, Salahuddin said that the militant leadership had absolutely no knowledge about the existence of these outfits. “These groups are not present at the base camp, nor do they have any existence at the ground level. These names could be being used by Indian secret agencies,” he said. Salahuddin said that he had no expectations from the proposed meeting between the Pakistan president and the Indian prime minister in New York as such meetings had proved futile during the past 60 years. On Maulala Fazl-ul-Rahman being nominated as the head of Pakistan’s Kashmir committee, Salahuddin said: “I personally think that the esteemed Maulana’s views on armed struggle are not correct.” He, however, said that he could react to the Kashmir Committee only after its policy and performance came to the fore. “I have never criticized any individual or forum, except when their strategy and performance indicates a deviation from the basic stand,” he said. “Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has departed from his past view, and he too talks about the right of self-determination and tripartite negotiations,” he said. “The Mirwaiz had been promoting the four-point formula of the former Pakistan president, General Pervez Musharraf, but now he has openly admitted that India is neither sincere nor serious with respect to Kashmir,” he said.