Hizbul threatens to call off ceasefire
27 July 2000
The Times of India
Islamabad: Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) on Thursday threatened to revoke its unilaterally declared cease-fire in Jammu and Kashmir if India insisted on holding talks within the framework of its constitution. HM supreme leader Syed Salahuddin in a statement here said Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee''s statement that the government was willing to talk to anybody within the framework of the constitution ''is unacceptable to us.'' The outfit ''will revoke cease-fire declaration if India tried to use traditional tactics of ifs and buts and India will be responsible for its consequences,'' Salahuddin, who was dismissed from the chairmanship of an alliance of 14 Pakistan-based militant outfits on Wednesday for endorsing the cease-fire, said. The United Jehad Council also suspended HM from the alliance. Vajpayee while welcoming the cease-fire announcement said last Tuesday that the government was willing to talk to anybody within the framework of Indian Constitution. ''If India shows traditional stubbornness, Hizbul Mujahideen will be justified in reviewing its cease-fire announcement,'' the HM supremo said. He said HM has not made unilateral cease-fire announcement for peace but it was aimed at finding a solution to the Kashmir issue ''in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris.'' Salahuddin said India should initiate purposeful dialogue with Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership to resolve the problem.