Solve Kashmir issue, we''ll drop the gun: Hizb
17 August 2001
The Times of India
Srinagar: Ruling out any more ceasefire announcements, the pro-Pakistan militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen on Friday expressed its readiness to say goodbye to the gun provided the Kashmir issue was resolved ''as per the wishes of the people of the state''. ''Hizb has no plans to announce ceasefire again and will continue its armed struggle till the Kashmir issue is resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,'' divisional commander and newly appointed spokesman of the outfit, Asad Yazdani said in an interview to a local news agency which appeared in an Urdu newspaper here on Friday. Yazdani, however, said his organisation will lend support to any move aimed at finding a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue. ''If we have a sword in one hand, we have safely kept the olive branch in the other and it is upto New Delhi which of the two hands it prefers,'' the Hizb commander, who was one of the militant leaders who held negotiations with the Central team after the outfit announced unilateral ceasefire in kashmir in July last year, said. ''We had provided a chance to India last year by calling a ceasefire. Now the situation does not allow the same to to happen again,'' Yazdani said. However, he said the ongoing armed movement in Kashmir had nothing to do with so-called fundamentalist or Taliban movements. ''Hizbul Mujahideen will say good bye to the gun the day Kashmir issue is resolved in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state,'' he added.