Salahuddin For Self-rule, After Demilitarisation
20 August 2006
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen chief commander Syed Salahuddin favours 'self- rule' to resolve the Kashmir dispute, but says it wouldn't be possible without complete demilitarisation. In an exclusive telephone interview with The Indian Express from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Salahuddin - one of India's most wanted Kashmiri militants - explained that 'demilitarisation means, as President Musharraf puts it, both Pakistan and India call back their forces from all regions of Jammu and Kashmir'. He says ceasefire will not be a problem 'if the Government of India releases all innocent people in jails, stops its operations and takes the Army to a pre-1989 position.' On Al-Qaeda in Kashmir I say with full authority that it is purely a disinformation campaign. Al-Qaeda neither has any role in Kashmir nor any target. I can say with full confidence that they are not present in Kashmir. After the Mumbai serial blast, Indian agencies are misguiding the international community, especially the US, to get their support and malign our legitimate movement. On London blasts and the Kashmir link As far as I know, nobody has related it (London Blasts) to Kashmir and it has nothing to do with Kashmir. It has been said that the people who were involved in the plot and who were arrested were of Pakistani origin and were supported by Pakistanis. On accusations of diversion of quake relief funds This is a disinformation campaign. Be it the London blasts or the Mumbai blasts, the Government of India is trying to relate it to Kashmir so that it can malign our movement. Is Hizbul Mujahideen trying to forge unity between rival factions of the Hurriyat? This is our aspiration. We are trying to get all people working on the political, diplomatic and militant front to unite. But then there must be one point that is common to them all. What it can be? It is complete demilitarisation and independence from India. Is Hizbul getting closer to the Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-led faction? The Hizbul is with every leader who is fighting for the independence of Kashmir. On return of Kashmiri Pandits Pandits have shaken the confidence of the majority community. There have been 38,000 communal riots in India since 1947, but not a single one in Kashmir. We have many a time invited them to return and join us in our freedom struggle. Our struggle isn't only for Muslims but also for the Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists. And the Government of India has not promised right of self determination just to the Muslims, but all people of Jammu and Kashmir. Criminals in militant ranks I agree, to some extent, with you on this. Some criminals have managed to infiltrate the ranks of the Mujahideen. When the imperial power fails to stop the resistance movement, it first tries to create differences between various fighting groups and then put its mercenaries into the ranks of the Mujahideen. We have time and again said that this is not acceptable. We have killed two such persons. The United Jihad Council has implemented a code of conduct for the Mujahideen. However, if somebody works for the agencies, the Mujahideen have a right to kill them no matter whether he is a Muslim or a non-Muslim. On his arrest in Pakistan This is not true. We had not been arrested nor can anybody arrest us. Yes, it is true that we were on a protest sit-in and have appealed to Pakistan to review its Kashmir policy. We told the Pakistan government that India is not responding positively to the dialogue process or the CBMs initiated by you. They are treating it as your weakness. On being on India's most-wanted list I am living on my own land named Azad Kashmir... it is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Government of India has no right to demand my extradition. On the changing international scenario and role of dialogue with reference to Hamas Keep history in front of you and say which problem of the Muslim world was solved on the negotiating table. Yasser Arafat did the same mistake. He left the armed struggle and became a part of the Camp David agreement. What was the result? Hamas is operating in an independent area. They have their own constitution and have their own government...They contested polls and even won it with majority. But still America is not ready to accept the Hamas. The question is whether can such a thing happens under the Indian Constitution. We have said time and again that we are ready for polls, but if they are held under the United Nations or any other international agency. How can we be part of the elections when there are around seven lakh troops besides the direct intervention of Delhi. The situation in Hamas is entirely different from Kashmir.