Lashkar Outfit Against Hizb Ceasefire
28 September 2005
Jammu: The Al Mansoorian rebel outfit has announced its opposition to the plan under which the Hizbul Mujahideen may accept suggestions from various quarters for declaring a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. Activists of the Al Mansoorian have expressed surprise over astute silence adopted Hizbul Mujahideen leaders over reports of ceasefire being debated in Hizb circles. Though a ceasefire by the Hizbul Mujahideen, which continues to be a major rebel outfit in Jammu and Kashmir, can bring about a marked change in level of violence, one cannot dismiss the Al Mansoorian, a wing of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, opposition to the ceasefire as meaningless when its activists have displayed fire power by carrying out series Fidayeen attacks including the one on the Tourist Reception Centre in Srinagar on April 6. Reliable reports said Hizbul Mujahideen leaders, including Muzaffarabad-based United Jehad Council chief, Syed Salahuddin, were being motivated not only by the Indian agencies and Kashmiri separatists but those who matter in Pakistan and occupied Kashmir for declaring a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. The idea behind this exercise, according to official sources, is to allow the ongoing talks between Delhi and Islamabad and between Delhi and APHC leaders to progress without major hurdles. When the APHC leaders, during their meeting with the India's Prime Minister, had suggested that the government should direct the troops, operating in Jammu and Kashmir, to declare a ceasefire Mr Manmohan Singh had informed them that the government ceasefire was possible when the militants cease resorting to gun and grenade attacks and infiltration from across the border ended. It is in this context that the Hizbul Mujahideen was being persuaded to announce a ceasefire. In fact it was in 2000 that Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander, Abdul Majid Dar, had announced a ceasefire which proved abortive because neither the Kashmiri separatists, nor the Indian agencies handled the matter tactfully with the result Syed Salahuddin opposed it hardly after 24 hours of its declaration though Dar's announcement had his (Syed's) backing. Official sources said that efforts were afoot to prepare Hizbul Mujahdeen commanders to declare a ceasefire at least in the month of Ramzan. And those working for the ceasefire were confident that ceasefire by the Hizb leadership would be fully reciprocated by the Indian security forces. Will the ongoing moves for a ceasefire fructify? Next 10 days will determine whether the guns in Kashmir fall silent or not.