MJC, Jamiat take umbrage at Sajjad Loneís speech
5 August 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Srinagar: Muttahida Jehad Council (MJC), an alliance of over one dozen Kashmiri militant groups headquartered in Muzzafarabad, has labelled the Jammu & Kashmir Peoplesí Conference (JKPC) chairman Sajjad Lone as ''a puppet of Indian intelligence agencies''. The alliance, headed by Hizbul Mujahideen ''supreme commander'' Syed Salah-ud-din, has taken umbrage at the junior Loneís statement made in Bandipore the other day. While addressing a thick gathering, Sajjad Lone had implicitly lashed out at the militant commanders based in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and denigrated them as ''escapists, who do not represent the Kashmiri people, their interests or aspirations''. In a statement, faxed to the local news agency KPS from Muzzafarabad, the MJC spokesman Sadaqat Hussain has blasted Sajjad Loneís purported remarks dubbing the Jehadi leadership as ''escapist'' and ''mercenary''. According to the MJC statement, Sajjad has been ''playing in the hands of Indian agencies and slinging mud on the Jehadi leadership''. ''We are constrained to reveal the truth. We are well aware of Sajjad Loneís character. We know well how, in Dubai, he swindled the Kashmir sufferers fund. If he didnít stop his anti-movement activities at once, he will be fully exposed before the people of Kashmir in a white paper'', read the MJC statement. It also asked the separatist Hurriyat Conference to take strong notice of the ''misleading statements of this man of dubious character''. It warned that if men like Sjjad Lone were not expelled from Hurriyat, the whole conglomerate would become dubious. ''Those laying the supreme sacrifice of life for Jehad can not be labelled as mercenaries. This is an insult to the blood of martyrs which would not be tolerated'', read the hard-hitting statement and warned explicitly: '' If Sajjad Lone wants to contest the election and enjoy power, heís free to fulfil his ambition. He should be aware of the Kashmiri peoplesí punishment to traitors''. Hizbul Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Umar Mujahideen, Hizbullah, Al-Barq, Al- Jehad, Hizbul Momineen and JKLF are the main constituents of MJC. Meanwhile, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen today said that Sajjad Loneís speech tentamounted to ''uprooting the ''freedom movement''. Its ''field commander general'' Malik Tahir Nawaz described Sajjad Lone as a black sheep who was trying to turn the (Kashmiri) people to India. In a statement, faxed to CNS, the Jamiat commander pooh-poohed Sajjad Loneís remarks of dubbing the militants as ''Pakistani agents''. He warned Sajjad not to make any attempt to benefit India. Earlier, last month, Hizb ''supreme commander'' and the MJC chief, Syed Salah-ud-din had taken exception to Sajjad Loneís exclusive interview to EXCELSIOR in which the JKPC chairman had asked the former to return to Valley and lead the anti-election campaign. The alliance spokesman had clarified that Salah-ud-din would not mind counselling by a political novice like Sajjad Lone. The outspoken Sajjad Lone is perceived to have fallen into Pakistanís bad books immediately after his explosive statement that ISI was responsible for his fatherís assassination on May 21. He had withdrawn his accusation next morning but the tone and tenor of his public statements, during the last two months, has not been Pakistan-friendly. Unlike Sajjad, Hurriyat leaders have been taking care that none of their words irked Pakistan or militants.