Indo-Pak Talks Process Aimless, Endless: Salahuddin

Indo-Pak Talks Process Aimless, Endless: Salahuddin

10 April 2012
Greater Kashmir
Tariq Nakash

Muzaffarabad: United Jihad Council chairman Syed Salahuddin has termed the talks between India and Pakistan as an “endless and aimless” process, declaring that nothing but an armed resistance could help resolve the lingering Kashmir issue. “India seems in no mood to pull out its forces from Kashmir. It has been gaining time and strengthening its military infrastructure in the territory under the cover of talks... Every passing day bespeaks that except for the armed struggle there is no other way to resolve the longstanding Kashmir issue,” he told a news conference here. “We have come to the conclusion that we will have to fight till the last drop of our blood,” he added. Salahuddin, who is also supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, pointed out that Kashmiris were not averse to normalisation of relations between Islamabad and New Delhi “though it seemed nowhere in sight,” yet they could not allow it at the cost of their own interests. “Until India adopts a realistic attitude on the core issue of Kashmir and agrees to resolve it in the light of United Nations Security Council resolutions, there is no hope of any solution,” he added. He stressed that talks should be meaningful and result oriented whereas at the moment dialogue was an “aimless and endless” process aimed at killing time. He was of the view that such a process benefitted India whereas Pakistan and the Kashmiris were the sufferers. “Since Kashmir is the bone of contention between the two countries, talks between the two countries should be Kashmir centric. Dialogue sans Kashmir cannot yield anything,” he warned. He also stressed that talks should be tripartite with participation of the “recognised Kashmiri leadership.” Responding questions, the UJC chief said, “ Our goal cannot be realized without military means.” He made it clear that he was not calling for “resumption” of the armed struggle because “it was never stopped for a fraction of a second, even with Gen Pervez Musharraf adopted a policy of retreat.” He however maintained that after 9-11 the Kashmiri militant groups had brought some changes in their basic strategy by moving militancy away from the urban areas. “The topography of Kashmir is ideal for militant activities which India cannot control even if it doubles the number of its forces in the region,” he added. When asked if they (militants) had any plans to stretch their activities to the urban areas again, he replied in the negative. “As long as people are staging peaceful demonstrations on the roads (in urban areas) we (militants) will stay away from urban areas.” The UJC chief made a passionate appeal to Islamabad to take a bold stand on Kashmir in keeping with the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people and its own principled policy. “Pakistan should give up unilateral friendship with India as it is impairing the cause of Kashmiris,” he said. He strongly opposed MFN status to India, saying it would help India to establish economic domination after political hegemony in the region.