Musharraf will pay for befriending Atal: Jehadis
7 June 2001
The Hindustan Times
Islamabad: STUNG BY Gen Pervez Musharraf's criticism of the jehadi groups" anti- India posture, Pakistan-based militant outfits Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Harkatul Mujahideen mounted a bitter attack on the Pakistan military ruler, saying he will have to "pay the price" for his "emerging friendship" with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Replying to Musharraf's appeal to the Islamic clergy to stop making statements like hoisting the Islamic flag over Red Fort, LeT chief Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, in a statement here, said the LeT attack on the Red Fort last December had hit the very base of the Indian Army. Saeed said, the dialogue with Indian leaders could not be successful until they recognised the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people. Secretary general of Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil regretted the statement made by Musharraf on June 5 at a religious conference here and said the military ruler attacked the ulema (Islamic clerics) before his New Delhi visit in order to please the Indian leadership. "India is a very cunning country and Musharraf should understand the Hindu mentality before leaving for India," he said, adding the general should direct the strong language against India and not at the ulema. Another militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen, however, said the Musharraf-Vajpayee summit was a breakthrough. "Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister had put a condition that Pakistan should stop cross-border terrorism. Moreover he wanted to talk only to a democratically-elected government. But now he has taken a U-turn ignoring his two conditions," it said. However, Kashmiris were not hopeful about the outcome of the summit between Vajpayee and Musharraf as India "was not serious about holding a dialogue on the Kashmir issue".