Islamabad: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has said that controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who recently revealed a secret memo sent to the US military, had tried to convince him to continue a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir in 2000.
Salahuddin, who also heads the United Jihad Council, said Ijaz, who claimed he had the backing of the US administration, met him twice in 2000 in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad immediately after the militants decided to end the brief ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir.
Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Khalid Khwaja, who was abducted and killed by the Pakistani Taliban last year, had accompanied Ijaz during their first meeting in Islamabad, Salahuddin told BBC Urdu.
Ijaz`s mother was present at the second meeting held in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, he
Salahuddin said he refused Ijaz`s advice and told him that India was "not sincere" about the ceasefire and that it was using "delaying tactics".
Extending the ceasefire under those circumstances would have been "harmful", Salahuddin claimed.
He said Ijaz never met him again as he had asked Ijaz not to contact him on the issue.
Ijaz tried to establish himself as a credible interlocutor by saying that he was holding these meeting at the behest of then US President Bill Clinton`s administration.
He tried to prove his high level contacts in the US by showing the Hizb commander a picture of himself with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Salahuddin said.
Salahuddin gave no evidence backing Ijaz`s controversial claim of having brokered the 2000 ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir.