28th September 1997
`Nida-e-Mashriq' (a Srinagar Urdu daily)
SRINAGAR: Sardar Qayoom has claimed that he has more fully trained activists than the Pak army which could take over from the later in POK. Significantly, Qayoom opines that India cannot be defeated by militancy, and the Kashmiris should wage a political struggle. Militancy, according to him, should have been kept on a low key from the beginning itself. However, Qayoom charges that it was the JeI which, with its better resources and activists worldwide, propagated `jehad', which had not achieved anything except damaging the cause of Kashmir's. Qayoom claims that while he always maintained a low-profile despite his contribution to the 'movements', he had been deprecatingly referred to as `capricious' and fickle-minded' by Jamaatis, the Pak Army Chief, ISI officers and former PM Benazir. Interestingly, Qayoom remarks that international observers, especially the US, do not understand the demand for accession of Kashmir to Pakistan and would only like to concentrate on the independence option.
In a counter statement in the same columns, the JeI Spokesman for POK charges that `Indian intellectual politicians' were doing their best to subvert the `movement'. Charging that Qayoom was pleasing India by talking of a withdrawal of Pak forces from POK, the JeI asserts that it is the field of `jehad' which separates the `righteous' from the `hypocrites'. It exhorts the Pak nation and its agencies to take serious note of Sardar Qayoom's statements.