'No Taliban Presence In J&K'

'No Taliban Presence In J&K'

24 November 2013
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: United Jihad Council chief Syed Salah-ud-Din on Sunday asserted that there was no presence of Taliban militants in Jammu and Kashmir and his amalgam of militant outfits has no physical connection with them. A local news agency KNS quoting Salah-ud-Din said, “We don’t want Taliban to come to Kashmir as they are needed in Afghanistan the most. We don’t have any physical link with them (Taliban).” “Those who say Taliban is present in Kashmir are doing so to damage the freedom movement in Kashmir,” he said. A few months ago top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Wali Ur Rehman, in a rare video appearance, had pledged to send fighters to Kashmir and wage a struggle for the implementation of Sharia rule in India. “Allah willing, the mujahideen of Tehreek-e-Taliban will arrive in Kashmir and as per the Islamic Sharia will help the Kashmiris get their rights,” Rehman had reportedly said. “As our ancestors sacrificed their lives for Kashmir and got Kashmir liberated by force (in 1947-48), the same way their progenies, walking in the footsteps of their forefathers will get Kashmir liberated (from India), and will help them get their rights,” he said. However, the PoK-based UJC chief described withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan as a positive sign and said its ‘glamour’ will have its effects. Boycott polls He also supported Hurriyat Conference hardliner chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s poll boycott campaign saying “participation in elections is cashed in on by New Delhi as an endorsement of accession with its dominion at the international level”. “India’s diplomatic missions, successive foreign ministers and its leadership have always cashed in on the elections being held in Jammu and Kashmir. I appeal the Hurriyat leadership to give poll boycott call in one voice,” he said. Salah-ud-Din, who is also supreme commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit, said he was trying his best to unite the divided separatist leadership in Kashmir. “If they fail to unite they will be accountable to God and the court of people. Besides our huge sacrifices are likely to go in vain but the onus will lie on our separatist leadership,” he said. The UJC chief blamed separatist leadership for creating confusion among people. According to him some Hurriyat leaders ask people to go for complete poll boycott while some tell them that elections are a non-issue and cannot undermine the importance of the Kashmir issue. Recently moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had described elections as non-issue while Geelani called for a complete boycott.