Hizb demands Islamic sanctions against India
9 November 2000
The Indian Express
Islamabad: Kashmir''s leading militant group, the Hizbul Mujahideen on Thursday urged leaders from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to slap diplomatic and economic sanctions against India. ''Economic boycott and rupture of diplomatic ties can compel India to see reason and agree to meaningful talks on resolving the 53-year-old Kashmir crisis,'' the group''s leader, Syed Salahuddin, said. He said the three-day OIC summit starting at Doha, Qatar, on Sunday should take notice of the ''growing Indo-Israeli axis'' against Muslims struggling for their ''right to self-determination.'' The Hizbul Mujahideen in July announced a unilateral cease-fire and offered three-way talks including the Kahmiris, India and Pakistan. The truce was cancelled in early August after New Delhi refused to sit down with Islamabad, which it accuses of fostering ''terrorism'' in its zone of Kashmir. Tens of thousands of people have died in the 11-year Muslim insurgency in the Indian zone of the divided Himalayan territory. Salahuddin said his group would continue the armed struggle until India entered into tripartite talks. Kashmir, divided between Pakistan and India and claimed by both, has sparked two of their three wars since 1947 as well as a border conflict in the Kargil area last year. Salahuddin said 750,000 Indian troops deployed in Kashmir had killed more than 70,000 people since the separatist rebellion erupted in 1989. Indian police estimate some 34,000 people have died. ''They are engaged in massive atrocities in Kashmir including gang rapes and burning of properties,'' the Kashmiri leader said. Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has said he intends to make Kashmir a central part of his message to the OIC, which is expected to focus on the Palestinian issue.