Salah-ud-din wonít return on Sajjad Loneís advice
8 July 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideenís ''chief commander operations'' Saiful Islam today said that the guerrilla outfitís ''supreme commander'' Syed Salah-ud- dinís absence from Kashmir valley was ''part of the organisationís strategy''. In his quick reaction to Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Loneís exclusive interview to EXCELSIOR, Saiful Islam said in a handout this evening that Syed Salah-ud-din would return to Kashmir valley at an appropriate time. He said that, in this matter, the Hizb supremo did not require advice from ''a junior leader like Sajjad Gani Lone''. ''Syed Salah-ud-din has lived in Kashmir and begun the armed struggle from here. For a long time, he languished in jails and fought Indian armed forces. He does not need an advice from a junior leader like Sajjad Gani Lone. Whenever he will think it proper, he will return and fight alongwith other companions in the struggle. No power on earth would stop his return that day'', Saiful Islam said in his statement. He said that the Hizb patriarchís absence from Kashmir valley was part of the organisationís strategy. As published in yesterdayís issue, Sajjad Lone had invited the Hizb supremo, through the EXCELSIOR interview, to ''return and lead the anti-election campaign'' in Kashmir valley. Salah-ud-din has been operating as ''supreme commander'' of Hizbul Mujahideen from Pakistan since 1994. Last week, he had asked the Valley-based Hurriyat leaders to launch the anti-election campaign or quit. Saiful Islam also criticised the Hurriyat leadershipís statement in which some separatist leaders had said that they would not act on diktats from Muzzafarabad-based Muttahida Jehad Council. ''The question is not that of taking diktats. It is the question of representing the political aspiration of those who have been sacrifing their lives for Azadi as also the sentiments of Kashmiri people'', Saiful Islam said. While as MJC, headed by the Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salah-ud-din, had asked the Hurriyat leaders to immediately ''launch anti-election campaign or quit'', the Hurriyat leaders had asserted that they would act of their own and would not take any diktats from MJC.