Accept Kashmir as dispute, we will talk: Salah-ud-Din

Rejects any possibility of unilateral ceasefire during Ramdhan
Stating that they were ready for dialogue if India accepts Kashmir as a dispute, United Jihad Council chairman and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen supermo, Syed Salah-ud-Din, Sunday said that gun was not in favor of Kashmiris.

“Whether bullet is fired by mujahideen or Indian troops, it is Kashmiri who is getting killed. I will be the happiest person if Kashmir dispute can be solved peacefully,” Salah-ud-Din told KNS in a telephonic interview.

Asked what the conditions of the UJC for dialogue were, he said, “Revocation of draconian laws like AFSPA and PSA, release of all political prisoners, withdrawal of troops from villages and towns and India’s acceptance that Kashmir is a dispute can become basis for any dialogue process.”

“Our leadership (Hurriyat) will be ready to talk if these conditions are fulfilled and we will support them,” he assured.

The Hizb supermo said that they were neither against dialogue in the past nor will we be in future. “But it (dialogue) should be meaningful, Kashmir centric and tripartite.”

However, the UJC supermo said that New Delhi was never sincere in dialogue on Kashmir. “History of last six decades is witness that India never sincerely wanted to solve the Kashmir dispute. India is neither sincere not serious, but wants to continue with status quo,” he said.

“In the name of CBMs some steps are being taken. We aren’t against trade and travel across LoC. But if some one thinks it is the solution, he is wrong. India is trying to hide atrocities of its seven lakh troops in Kashmir in the garb of talks,” he alleged.

Asked whether UJC would announce unilateral ceasefire during month of Ramdhan, he categorically refused. “Ramdhan is the month of jihad. It is month of jihad against oppressors. There is no question of ceasefire in this month. In past we announced unilateral ceasefire (August 2000). But the experiment failed as it only benefited India and harmed our cause,” he said.

On the recent talks between Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart, Hina Rabbani Khar, Salah-ud-Din said, “Kashmir isn’t an internal security problem that Hina and Krishna can solve it bilaterally. This type of dialogue is harmful for Pakistan and Kashmiris and it only benefits India.”

On Krishna’s mention of K-issue in his statement, the UJC chairman said, “Krishna sahib isn’t the first one to say so. In the past many Indian leaders have said so. It is compulsion of both governments of India and Pakistan to say that they want to settle Kashmir issue. But on ground we have to see whether India accepts that Kashmir as dispute.”

“It (dialogue) is to make international community believe that talks on Kashmir are on. But on ground India isn’t ready to solve the dispute,” he added.

On Pakistan’s flexible approach towards Kashmir, he said, “Despite their (Pakistan’s) own problems, it can’t make any compromise on Kashmir. It is question of their own defence. There might be some changes in Pakistan’s diplomatic, political and morale support to Kashmir cause, but Pakistan Army can’t make a compromise as it is question of their country’s defence.”

He rejected rumors that US was in touch with UJC leadership. “No one had ever contacted us ever. And if some one approaches us, our stand is clear.”

On recent civilian killings in north Kashmir, he said, “There is a network of renegades and STF in Kashmir and it is their handiwork. We condemned such killings always and say it no mujahid is involved in it.”

On Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai’s arrest in US, he said, “It shows double standards of US towards Kashmir. US sympathies are more with India on Kashmir.”