February 2001 News

Militants reject JK truce extension

22 February 2001
The Indian Express

Islamabad: Militant groups today rejected India's extension of a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir while Pakistan denounced it as a tactic delaying peace talks. Three frontline guerrilla groups - Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-i-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen - dismissed the Indian move, as they did with previous truce announcements, and vowed to fight on. "The Indian move amounts to deceiving the world public opinion," said a Pakistan government spokesman, quoted by state television. He said India had made no move to resume the deadlocked peace talks on Kashmir after it announced the ceasefire in late November and extended it twice. "This shows that India wants to prolong the dispute and gain time...which will be of no benefit to it," the spokesman was quoted as saying. "This is a mere fraud to deceive the world," a Hizb-ul-Mujahideen spokesman told Reuters by telephone. "The mujahideen (guerrillas) would continue their operations." Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said the decision was "A fraud as its previous ceasefire announcements and we reject it". He said his group would further organise attacks by its suicide groups to target Indian military targets. A statement by a spokesman of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen group faxed to Reuters said the move was "A deep..conspiracy against the Kashmir liberation movement because India had achieved nothing in the previous ceasefire and its extension twice". "India's extension of the ceasefire is a conspiracy to eliminate the mujahideen (guerrillas) by disarming them," spokesman Amiruddin Mughal said in the statement issued in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. "But the mujahideen will defeat this conspiracy." The previous ceasefire was also rejected by most of more than a dozen guerrilla groups.


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