Musharraf's Kashmir Plans Slammed
29 April 2004
Islamabad: One of Pakistan's leading Islamic militants says 'holy war' is the only way to end Indian rule in Kashmir. Hafiz Saeed accused President Pervez Musharraf of undermining the armed struggle in the region by holding peace talks with India. Mr Saeed, foremr head of the Lashkar- e-Toiba group, told more than 1,000 supporters holy war formed the true 'roadmap' to Kashmir's independence. India blames Mr Saeed's group for a series of bombings and other killings. Establishing links Addressing a meeting in Muzzaffarabad, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Mr Saeed said the concept of Islamic moderation was unacceptable to most Muslims. Jihad, or holy war, was the only way to liberate the rest of Kashmir from the control of Indian security forces, he added. He also criticised General Musharraf's attempts to establish cultural and travel links with India. Mr Saeed said the Islamic mujahideen were determined to continue with their activities. Many had proved this with a campaign of action within Indian- administered Kashmir, he said. India blames Lashkar-e-Toiba for many high-profile killings, including the armed attack on the Indian parliament in New Delhi, in December 2001, which resulted in a military escalation on the border with Pakistan. But Delhi says the number of border infiltrations by militants has fallen since the peace process started earlier this year. Mr Saeed is now leader of the Jammat-ud-Dawa group, set up after Pakistan's government banned Lashkar-e-Toiba two years ago. It has since been placed on a watch list. Islamic militants have been fighting to wrest control of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state from India since 1989, in a conflict that has killed more than 65,000 people.