February 2002 News

Resolve Kashmir issue to ease tensions: Hizb

3 February 2002
The Times of India
Not specified

SRINAGAR: The leading Kashmiri militant group said on Sunday the resolution of the Kashmir dispute was the only way to ease tensions between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan.''Nothing less than the resolution of the Kashmir dispute will bring peace in the subcontinent,'' said Saif-ul- Islam, the chief commander of Hizbul Mujahedin, which wants to see Kashmir''s accession to Pakistan.''Neither withdrawal of troops from the borders, nor harping on cessation of cross-border terrorism will help in easing the tensions between the two countries,'' he said.Tensions have risen between them since the December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament, which India blames on two Pakistan-based militant groups. The dispute escalated until around 800,000 troops were massed along their shared borders.Islamabad last month banned both groups and freezed their assets.Pakistan has said India should withdraw its troops from the border, but New Delhi says it will not pull back until it is convinced that cross-border terrorism has ended.Pakistan denies funding or arming Kashmiri militants.Islam said the people of Kashmir would continue their struggle until ''the complete objective of freedom is achieved''.''Those who are talking of supressing the ongoing freedom movement by dint of power are living in the fool''s paradise,'' said Islam, apparently referring to the ongoing Indian offensive against militants in Kashmir.


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