Centre's Talks Offer Meaningless: Militants
23 October 2003
The Times of India
Srinagar: Militant outfits, including the Hizbul Mujahideen, on Thursday termed as 'futile' India 's fresh proposals to Pakistan to normalise relations and also to hold talks with the Hurriyat Conference, and said the measures were meaningless until the Centre initiated concrete steps to resolve the Kashmir issue. Asking separatist leadership not to enter into the proposed 'useless and futile' dialogue, Hizbul Mujahideen said it was unwise to so until the Centre declared Kashmir as a 'disputed' issue. The outfit's chief operations commander Gazi Naseer-ud-din said Hizbul was for resolution of Kashmir issue through dialogue but for that the Centre 'should declare Kashmir a disputed issue and start meaningful and result-oriented tripartite talks involving representatives of Kashmir '. Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen operations commander Malik Tahir alleged that by announcing the proposals India wanted to 'hoodwink' the international community to escape world criticism and divide the people of the state in the name of peace. Al-Nasreen and Farzandan-e- Millat, two lesser-known militant outfits which claimed responsibility for the recent attack at Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's residence, said the Centre should also invite the militant leadership for the talks. They said only mujahideens and not Hurriyat Conference had representative character. Farzandan-e- Millat said that the Centre should invite United Jehad Council (representative body of militants operating from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir ) for dialogue. Radical women's outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat's chief Asiya Andrabi said that Advani's proposed talks with the Hurriyat were 'time buying tactics' and that the proposed dialogue would not have any bearing on the Kashmir issue, which was an Islamic problem. She said that the proposed talks with Hurriyat Conference led by Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari 'would not have any effect on the Kashmir issue... Both India and Pakistan are under US pressure and Wednesday's announcement by the Centre is just time buying tactics'. Andrabi further said that both Hurriyat factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Ansari could not talk on behalf of Kashmiri people as they were not familiar with Islamic politics and its history.