ISLAMABAD- Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salah-ud-Din has said his outfit wants to give peace a try in Jammu and Kashmir and denied that it declared the cease-fire under any pressure.
We have taken our own decision and have not announced the cease-fire under any pressure, Salah-ud-Din said in an inter-view to an online news agency. Asked about the opposition to the cease-fire by several militant groups, he said they are annoyed because India has: never fulfilled any promise and think the talks offer will not bear any fruits while we want to give a try. Referring to the other militant outfits still active in the state, the Hizb supremo said his group was the main force in the valley and expressed the hope they would also halt their operations.
He rejected the autonomy resolution passed by the state assembly saying we want nothing less than freedom.
Salah-ud-Din criticised Jamaat-e-Islami for making irresponsible statements of cease-fire and said they should not have reacted so harshly without consulting us. He also came down heavily elected governments in Pakistan for damaging the Kashmir cause and said they had been making hallow claims about finding a solution to the Kashmir issue.
A meeting between Hizb commanders and army officers at an undisclosed destination to work out cease-fire modalities failed to take place today as two of the four commanders who represented Hizb in the first round of talks were not available.
Sources close to Hizb said that two had represented the out-fit in the first round of talks with union home secretary Kamal Pande here on Thursday. Earlier; Fazal Has Qureshi mediator nominated by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, said the two sides were meeting today at an undisclosed destination to work out modalities for effective implementation to balance the militant demand that the talks can cover an issue-including secession against political pressure not to compromise on the constitution.
(Kashmir Observer, August 7, 2000)
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