Salahudin downplays Modi’s invite to Nawaz

Srinagar : Terming Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi’s invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony on May 26 ‘a step taken under diplomatic compulsion’, United Jihad Council (UJC) Chief Syed Sallahuddin on Thursday said that if Narendra Modi wants to show statesmanship, he should accept Kashmir a disputed territory and work for its permanent resolution.

In a telephonic statement to KNS, Sallahuddin said: “The invitation extended to SAARC heads is a symbolic message that India wants better relations with its neighbours. It has no relevance on ground unless  Modi proves his ‘sincere’ intentions after assuming office.” The UJC chief said that before his swearing-in ceremony Nawaz Sharif the Pakistan Prime Minister had also wanted  Manmohan Singh to attend that function in Pakistan. “So there is nothing new in this invitation. I don’t think too much hopes should be pinned on this invitation as BJP manifesto says that if it came to power it will ‘recover’ Azad Kashmir from Pakistan,” Sallahudin .

He said that if Modi wants to reduce tension in the region, he should cut his sky touching defense budget drastically. “ Modi should also accept Kashmir a dispute which is basis of contention between India and Pakistan, tension on LoC, and sky touching defense budgets. He should initiate meaningful talks which are aimed at resolution of Kashmir in view of United Nations resolutions and aspirations of people of Kashmir. Otherwise, talks and other engagements in past have proved a futile exercise,” he stressed.  

The UJC chief also rejected Prime Minister’s special envoy S K Lambah’s statement that there can be no redrawing of borders between India and Pakistan. Sallahudin said that people of Kashmir have been fighting for the permanent resolution of Kashmir and not the status quo. “The statement of  Lambah is nothing but a manifestation of Indian leadership’s traditional and rigid approach on Kashmir. We have not offered precious lives and property for any status quo but for a permanent solution of Kashmir in terms of various resolutions passed by United Nations,” the UJC chief added.  Sallahudin, who is also supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen said that the solution of Kashmiri lies in tripartite talks between India-Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership. “Only meaningful talks which include all the three stakeholders is acceptable to us,” he added.  

Referring to just concluded Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir, Sallahuddin said that the verdict of these elections does not matter for the militant leadership. “Change of guard or for that matter the verdict of these just concluded sham elections hardly matters for us. We think the whole political mainstream in Kashmir be it NC, Congress or PDP are slaves of India who have no say but to toe their line,” the UJC chief added.

“The way India projects participation of people of Kashmir in elections as an endorsement of accession with its dominion, I hope Pakistan will take a call and convey the message of people of Kashmir at international level so that world community plays its role in facilitating resolution of Kashmir issue,” the UJC chief added.

Condemning killings of youth in Sopore and Shopian, Sallahudin said that whosoever has carried out the killings of these youth have ‘killed the humanity and damaged the movement’. “Actually the state agencies want to create a wedge between militants and the people. The unidentified gunmen are no one but the hired renegades of Indian agencies who carry out such attacks to malign image of militants. We strongly condemn these killings,” Sallahuddin added.  

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