Hizbul Mujahideen snubs Delhi's talks offer
17 April 2001
The Indian Express
Srinagar: The Hizbul Mujahideen has outrightedly rejected the fresh dialogue initiative of K C Pant, New Delhi's designate to hold talks on Kashmir. "New Delhi is buying time to relieve itself of the pressure mounted on it in the international fore," Salim Hashmi, spokesman of Hizbul Mujahideen told The Indian Express over phone. Terming the peace talks as a "myth to deviate from the real issue," the spokesman said, "New Delhi's dilly-dallying is intended to cover-up its insincerity on talks over the vexed Kashmir issue. New Delhi is trying to defuse the mounting international condemnation on the Kashmir issue," he said. He said the unilateral ceasefire announced by New Delhi "was a hogwash as it essentially is aimed at preparing the troops for launching an attack on Azad Kashmir." Hashmi said "Hizb will not accept talks without the involvement of Pakistan. The Kashmir issue can be addressed with the participation of Pakistan as it is one of the prime parties in the dispute," he quoted Hizb supremo Syed Salahudin as having said. "We will accept New Delhi's offer only when Pakistan is asked to share the table, and talks without Her is futile and would lead nowhere." Hashmi said the Hizbul Mujahideen has extended condolence to Syed Ali Shah Geelani on the demise of his daughter. "The entire Azad Kashmir is grieving over the death of his daughter. Even Sardar Ibrahim and Barrister Sultan Chowdhary, president and prime minister of Azad Kashmir have extended condolence to Geelani," Hashmi said.