Hizbul to lay down arms if genuine peace process begins
2 May 2002
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Dominant pro-Pakistan Kashmiri terrorists outfit Hizbul Mujahideen said it is willing to lay down arms if New Delhi begins a ''genuine process of settlement and peace'' in Kashmir. ''Once India takes an initiative with good intentions, she will find us ten steps ahead of her one step. We will at once give up guns and observe real ceasefire so that solution finding path receives a headway,'' deputy supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Moin-ul-Islam, said in an article published in an English daily on Thursday. However, he said ''let India bear it in mind that unless genuine peace process precedes - Hizbul Mujahideen and other United Jehad Council (UGC) constituents would remain wedded to the armed struggle''. UGC is the umbrella organisation of over a dozen Pakistan-based terrorists groups operating in Kashmir. ''India should always keep it in mind that if she has a sincere desire to see that peace returns to Kashmir she has to make a beginning,'' the top commander of the outfit said, adding ''if today India begins a genuine process of settlement and peace we will not wait till tomorrow. We will give up our defensive operation right now.''