Zee Media Bureau
Islamabad: Even before Pakistan`s would-be PM Nawaz Sharif could act on his vows of improving Indo-Pak ties, a warning has been issued by Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, telling him not to ignore "Kashmir cause" and "foster friendship" with New Delhi.
HM chief Salahuddin, who also heads an alliance of all Kashmiri militant organizations (United Jihad Council), has threatened Nawaz with harmful consequences if it pursued "friendship" with New Delhi.
In an interview to a leading newspaper, Salahuddin warned Nawaz "not to repeat the mistake of putting Kashmir on the back burner and try to foster friendship with New Delhi through trade, cultural exchanges and tourism".
"If (Sharif`s government) shows one-sided flexibility, extends an unreciprocated hand of friendship towards India like Musharraf, it will be suicide. What did Pakistan get out of Musharraf`s policies?, he said in the interview.
"No government in Pakistan, whether it is Nawaz Sharif or anybody else, will remain in the chair if it abandons the Kashmir cause," Salahuddin said.
Rebutting the reports of Kashmir issue not being the top priority of Pakistan government, Salahuddin insisted that "Nawaz Sharif and his party`s leadership must understand that till the time Kashmir is under India`s occupation, the national security of Pakistan, the safety and security of its borders, and its economic stability is at stake".
"So our expectation from Nawaz Sharif`s government is that he will make this the first priority and give it central place in the Indo-Pak relationship... Otherwise, it will be lethal to the interests of Pakistan and that of the Kashmir struggle in the same way that it proved to be during the regimes of Musharraf sahib and Zardari sahib," the Hizbul chief said.
Nawaz Sharif`s enthusiasm about building better relations with India has been publicized much with his words about "picking the threads from it was left in 1999" when Lahore accord was signed in Lahore.
Nawaz Sharif had also spoken about inviting PM Manmohan Singh to his oath taking ceremony, but the PMO clarified that no such formal invite has been sent from Pakistan.
PM Manmohan Singh was unusually quick in congratulating Sharif on his victory and he had also invited Sharif to India.