Militant Groups Say UN Resolutions On Kashmir Not Viable
14 January 2006
Islamabad: Ahead of commencement of third round of Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan, a conglomerate of Pakistan-based militant groups has reportedly decided to give up its demand for implementation of UN resolutions for settling the Kashmir issue, in support of ideas of 'independence and demilitarisation.' The Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC) headed by Chief of Hizbul Mujahideen Sayed Salahuddin has decided to support the idea of an 'independent Kashmir and demilitarisation' of the state, Pakistan's 'Daily Times' newspaper reported quoting an unidentified leader of an MJC-affiliated group. 'A consensus has been evolved among the MJC leaders not to oppose the idea of an independent Kashmir and its demilitarisation,' he said, adding that MJC was of the view that an 'independent' Kashmir was the most viable solution as UN resolutions failed resolve the issue. According to the newspaper, the MJC leader said it was a major shift in the group's stance because earlier it had always supported the solution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN resolutions. 'The UN resolutions on Kashmir have become irrelevant because Pakistani and some Kashmiri leaders have come up with new ideas to resolve the issue,' he said. Admitting that change in Pakistan's stand on UN resolutions necessitated the MJC to shift its stand, he said that the idea of an 'independent' Kashmir was more viable than the 'United States of Kashmir' and self-governance being floated by moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq with the tacit backing of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf had said in an interview recently that he was opposed to the idea of independence as an option to resolve the Kashmir issue. The change of stand of the MJC came after reports in the media here that Salahuddin was due to meet hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a strong proponent of implementation of UN resolutions, during the Haj pilgrimage. Salahuddin had publicly declined to meet Farooq during the latter's two visits to Pakistan owing to his loyalty to Geelani, but reports said that he had privately held talks with the moderate Hurriyat leader. Significantly, the new MJC stand came ahead of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries to start the third round of the Composite Dialogue process in New Delhi on January 17. Pakistan is expected to put forward its ideas on self governance and demilitarisation at the two-day talks.