Muzafarrabad directive warns Hurriyat Vajpayee''s poll call against jihad: Salahuddin
31 March 2002
The Daily Excelsior
B L Kak
New Delhi: Pakistani ISI''s blue-eyed boy, Syed Salahuddin, has ordered the dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen cadre in Kashmir to join hands with like- minded groups to prevent ''all freedom-loving people'' from participating in the Assembly elections due in September-October next. Pakistan-based Salahuddin''s directive surfaced after the crucial meeting of the 15-party United Jihad Council (UJC) in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Radio intercepts have made it abundantly clear that the UJC, which is, to all intents and purposes a key alliance of Pakistan-based militant groups, wants ''all freedom-loving people'' of Kashmir to rise as one- man and abort Indian Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee''s call urging all sections of the Kashmir to take part in a ''free and fair poll'' One of the intercepts quoted Salahuddin as informing the Hizbul Mujahideen in particular and ''freedom-loving people'' in general about the ''vital'' decision taken at the meeting of the United Jihad Council: ''Fidayeen ko hidayat dee gayee hai ki voh Bharati kutoon kaa safaaya karey, khaaskar un ifraad kaa jo Kashmiri mujahideen ko election mein shaamil honay kay liyey majboor kareingay (suicide squads have been instructed to liquidate Indian dogs, particularly those individuals who are going to force Kashmiri fighters to participate in the elections)''. Another radio intercept contained a stern warning for leaders of Kashmir''s All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC): ''Agar kisee bhi Hurriyat leader nay Hindustani hukoomat kay huq mein koyee bhi kadam uthaaya, tab hamaray mujahideen AK-47 aur IED kaa sahee istamal karaingay (If any leader of the Hurriyat Conference is found taking any step to help the Indian Government, then our mujahideen will make use of AK-47 and IED against him. The UJC leader, Salahuddin''s message, while alleging that thousands of Kashmiris have been killed by Indian forces since 1988 for their fight to ''win freedom from India'', also warned the Hurriyat leaders: ''As these sacrifices were made not to bring one or the other group into power in the elections, fidayeen (suicide squads) already available in various parts of Kashmir will not tolerate any conspiracy against the freedom-loving Kashmiris''. Equally significant is the signal from Muzaffarabad for militants and subversives in Kashmir during the proposed visit to the Valley by the Prime Minister, Mr Vajpayee, and other Indian leaders. Apparently, the signal, which has favoured ''a total shutdown and anti-India stir'' during Mr Vajpayee''s visit to Srinagar, is the outcome of Mr Vajpayee''s recent announcement in the Rajya Sabha that he would ''soon'' visit Kashmir for wide-ranging consultations with various sections to work out poll strategy. Mr Vajpayee, in fact, has urged separatist organisations to join the election fray. The United Jihad Council, which has already made it clear that any decision taken by Srinagar-based Hurriyat Conferene ''shall have to be referred'' to it (UJC) for approval or otherwise, has yet another guideline for militant groups in Kashmir. Any election under the Indian constitution will only legitimize New Delhi''s control. The United Jihad Council will not permit this to happen as, according to Salahuddin, jihad against ''Indian occupation forces'' will suffer a setback by the participation of Kashmiri people in the elections. Significance is also attached to the message dashed off to Kashmir by UK-based Jammu and Kashmir National Independence Alliance, calling for ''total boycott of the coming elections''. The emergence on the scene of the JKNIA (Jammu and Kashmir National Independence Alliance) followed the merger of seven UK-based Kashmir groups including the JKLF and JKNLF.