US Had Offered Package To Extend 2001 Truce: UJC28 November 2011
Srinagar: United Jehad Council chairman, Syed Salahuddin, who is also the supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, has disclosed the US Administration had offered him a hefty economic package to extend 2001 ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, which he had rejected. In an interview with a news agency, Salahuddin said the then chief commander of the outfit, Abdul Majid Dar, had, of his own, announced a ceasefire in 2001. “I had put forth three conditions to extend the truce: demilitarization, tripartite talks and acceptance of the disputed nature of Kashmir by India. But, because the conditions were not met, I had announced the end of ceasefire at a press conference at Islamabad,” he said, according to a report circulated by local news agency, Kashmir Media Network. “A day after my announcement of calling off the ceasefire, a US-born Pakistani businessman, Mansoor Aijaz, accompanied by Khalid Khwaja, approached me with the former claiming to be very close to the then US president, Bill Clinton, and was working on Muslim issues in the United States. He showed me a picture in which he is seen with Clinton and his wife, Hillary,” Salahuddin said. The UJC chief said Mansoor Aijaz had urged him to extend the ceasefire to give peace a chance. “A few days after, Mansoor and his mother met me again in Muzaffarabad. He said the US Administration was prepared to offer me a massive economic package which could be utilized on building infrastructure like roads, schools, hospitals, in Jammu and Kashmir The entire money would be placed at my disposal,” Salahuddin said, adding that Mansoor’s mother was more particular about the ceasefire. Salahuddin said he not only rejected the offer but even warned Mansoor Aijaz and his mother of dire consequences in case they insisted on ceasefire extension. “After that, they never approached me,” he added. It may be recalled Mansoor Aijaz was in the news recently in what has come to be known as “Memogate.” In a newspaper column, he has claimed that after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, had sent a memo to the former chief of the US army seeking US help against a possible coup by the Pak army. While the Pak ambassador in the US, Husain Haqqani, had to resign, the government has ordered a probe into the whole issue.