MJC renews ceasefire offer to India
7 August 2005
Our Staff Reporter
Islamabad: The Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC), an umbrella organization of Kashmiri freedom fighters, on Sunday renewed its offer of ceasefire seeking assurance from President Musharraf and major world powers if India declared the occupied Kashmir a disputed territory, withdrew its troops from the IHK, stopped killing of innocent Kashmiris. Speaking at a seminar commemorating the “Kashmir Freedom movement; prospects of success, concerns and threats”, MJC chairman Syed Salahuddin said the council would welcome any proposal of ceasefire “If Indian government declares Held Kashmir as disputed territory, withdraws its troops, releases all detained Kashmiris and stops their killings”. He said if Gen Musharraf or any major country assured the militant leaders that India would fulfil all the conditions and would show its willingness for a negotiated settlement of Kashmir issue in consonance of Kashmiri people’s wishes the MJC would have no objection to a ceasefire. Federal Minister for Information Sheikh Rashid Ahmed categorically stated that the struggle for independence of Kashmir should not be equated with terrorism. “Terrorism and independence struggle are two different things and should not be compared,” he added. He said Kashmiris were an integral party to the resolution of the issue. “All the proposals and steps to find a solution to the problem become meaningless, even the governments of Pakistan and India agree, if the Kashmiris do not accept these measures.” The minister said President Musharraf had said it a number of times that the sooner a solution to the problem was found, the better it was for India and Pakistan. “If we keep the issue in cold storage for a longer period, it will further become complicated”, he said and added that the early resolution of Kashmir was key to world peace. Sheikh Rashid paid rich tributes to Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Gilani and said he has rendered great services for the cause of Kashmir and no one can ignore him when any talks on Kashmir would be held. Kashmiri leaders in their speeches called for a united approach to achieve the right to self-determination and independence from India. They also urged the Kashmiri leadership in Pakistan to stand behind the mujahideen who were fighting in Indian occupied Kashmir. Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) president Qazi Hussain Ahmed who also spoke on the occasion alleged the military leadership of Pakistan to having developed corporate interests and were all out to protect their interests. He questioned the corporate interests of the army generals. He accused Gen Musharraf and his associates for formulating confused Kashmir policy which had damaged the cause of Kashmiri people. Qazi said, “it was now upto the people of Pakistan to stand firm behind the Kashmiri people and help them in acquiring freedom from the Indian occupation. He said Kashmir was a disputed territory and we would have to force India by the use of power as well as diplomatic manoeuvres to accept this reality. The MMA chief said Kashmir was core issue which could only be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions adding that Kashmiris must be given choice to opt either for Muslim majority Pakistan or India. The Kashmiri leaders who delivered speeches at the seminar included Farooq Rehmani, Pir Salahuddin, Prof Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki, Altaf Qadri, Maulana Ghulam Nabi Nowshehri, representative of Kashmiri refugees in Pakistan Noor ul Haq Qureshi.