Hizbul Sacks Qureshi For Statement On Talks
18 August 2000
Islamabad: The Hizbul Mujahideen today disowned its Kashmiri emissary, Fazal Haq Qureshi, who had claimed in an interview to a section of the media that the group would resume its collapsed dialogue with India over the Kashmir issue. Hizb''s supreme commander, Syed Salahuddin, said in a statement issued here that the group had only two spokesmen - Saleem Hashmi and Commander Masood.''Nobody else has either the right or authority to speak on behalf of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen,'' he said. Qureshi had acted as a go-between after the Hizb declared a unilateral cease-fire on July 24 and arranged the talks the group offered to India. But the cease-fire and the talks collapsed on August 8 when India rejected the group''s demand to include Pakistan in the talks. Qureshi had claimed in his interview that the Hizb would soon resume the dialogue with India. Other secessionist groups operating in Kashmir would also join the dialogue once the negotiations reached a ''certain point'', he said. Without Pakistan, the process of resolving the Kashmir problem could not be carried forward, he added. But ''it is not practical for Pakistan to be involved in the process initially. There are some difficulties in it that Pakistan should realise,'' Qureshi had said. Salahuddin said in his statement: ''The principled stand of the Hizbul is crystal clear. We consider Kashmir as a dispute between three parties -India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. There could be progress if India is ready to accept this reality.''