Hizb chief speaks out against strike calls in Valley

Written by: Pti
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Srinagar, Jan 14 (PTI) Hizbul Mujahideen Chief SyedSalahuddin has voiced his opposition to the frequent calls forstrike during the unrest in the Valley last summer and saidthe leaders should now learn from their mistakes and notrepeat them.

In an interview to a local news agency which was carriedby various newspapers here, Salahuddin also said that theUnited Jehad Council (UJC), an amalgam of nearly 12 militantgroups, will positively intervene if the Indian governmentcomes up with a "sincere" offer for talks for a resolution ofthe Kashmir issue.

Salahuddin while touching upon various issues questionedthe way the summer unrest that left around 100 persons deadwas handled in the valley by the separatists.

"85 per ent of people in Kashmir live hand-to-mouth. Nonation can observe strikes forever and remain under curfew. Wehad appealed to our friends on July 24 (last year) tostrategise the movement, but unfortunately, they didn�tlisten," he said.

Asked to identify the people who did not listen to hisadvice, he said, "I do not want to identify them as it wouldharm the movement. But now they should learn a lesson fromtheir mistakes."

In his usual blow-hot, blow-cold policy, Salahuddinwhile showing some inclination for a dialogue process with NewDelhi at the same time said "gun was the only solution". Healso warned separatists not to speak anything againstmilitancy.

"If India comes forward with a sincere offer for talksfor the solution of Kashmir as per the wishes of our people,we are ready to respond positively," he said.

Salahuddin, who is also the self-styled supremecommander of Hizbul Mujahideen, said the Centre would have totalk to the separatist leadership in Kashmir but the militantorganization was willing to intervene positively if a solutionto the issue emerges.

He said the dialogue process has to be conducted withsincerity and Centre must accept Kashmir as the core issue.

"Otherwise it is a wastage of time," he said.

While saying this, Salahuddin, who heads HizbulMujahideen, also said "gun is the only solution to achievefreedom" and also asked hardline Hurriyat Conference leaderSyed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatist leaders not toissue any statements against "armed struggle".

On senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat�s recentstatement that Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone,were killed by �our own people,� he said, "those who killedinnocents should be brought to public court...but this is notthe appropriate time to touch these issues as it may harm themovement."

Regretting the failed attempts in getting the twoHurriyat factions united, he said "it is unfortunate thatHurriyat is divided. Separately we cannot reach our goal, wehave to get united." PTI MIJ SKL GSN

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