Hizb chief speaks out against strike calls in Valley

Last Updated: Friday, January 14, 2011 - 18:19

Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed
Salahuddin has voiced his opposition to the frequent calls for
strike during the unrest in the Valley last summer and said
the leaders should now learn from their mistakes and not
repeat them.

In an interview to a local news agency which was carried
by various newspapers here, Salahuddin also said that the
United Jehad Council (UJC), an amalgam of nearly 12 militant
groups, will positively intervene if the Indian government
comes up with a "sincere" offer for talks for a resolution of
the Kashmir issue.

Salahuddin while touching upon various issues questioned
the way the summer unrest that left around 100 persons dead
was handled in the valley by the separatists.

"85 per ent of people in Kashmir live hand-to-mouth. No
nation can observe strikes forever and remain under curfew. We
had appealed to our friends on July 24 (last year) to
strategise the movement, but unfortunately, they didn’t
listen," he said.

Asked to identify the people who did not listen to his
advice, he said, "I do not want to identify them as it would
harm the movement. But now they should learn a lesson from
their mistakes."

In his usual blow-hot, blow-cold policy, Salahuddin
while showing some inclination for a dialogue process with New
Delhi at the same time said "gun was the only solution". He
also warned separatists not to speak anything against
militancy.

"If India comes forward with a sincere offer for talks
for the solution of Kashmir as per the wishes of our people,
we are ready to respond positively," he said.

Salahuddin, who is also the self-styled supreme
commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, said the Centre would have to
talk to the separatist leadership in Kashmir but the militant
organization was willing to intervene positively if a solution
to the issue emerges.

He said the dialogue process has to be conducted with
sincerity and Centre must accept Kashmir as the core issue.
"Otherwise it is a wastage of time," he said.

While saying this, Salahuddin, who heads Hizbul
Mujahideen, also said "gun is the only solution to achieve
freedom" and also asked hardline Hurriyat Conference leader
Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatist leaders not to
issue any statements against "armed struggle".

On senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat’s recent
statement that Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone,
were killed by our own people, he said, "those who killed
innocents should be brought to public court...but this is not
the appropriate time to touch these issues as it may harm the
movement."

Regretting the failed attempts in getting the two
Hurriyat factions united, he said "it is unfortunate that
Hurriyat is divided. Separately we cannot reach our goal, we
have to get united."

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 - 18:19

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