Hizb ready to put down the gun if India agrees to tripartite talks: Salahuddin

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Karachi, Apr 1 : Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin has said that his terrorist orgnisation might think of reviewing its armed struggle in the Valley on the condition that India changes its stance and agrees to meaningful tripartite talks for the solution of the Kashmir issue.

Hizb Mujahiddin is the largest terrorist organisation operating in the Valley.

"The armed struggle, which the people of Jammu and Kashmir initiated in 1989, is not a terrorist movement. Instead, it is a recognised movement for freedom and for the right to self-determination for the Kashmiri people. We are peaceful people and want a political solution to the problem," The News quoted him as saying at a news conference in Karachi last evening.

He warned that Kashmiris would not accept any other solution to the issue except for self-determination as enshrined in the UN resolutions. "Kashmiris will never accept autonomy, the freezing of the issue or recognising the LoC as a permanent border," he maintained.

He said that though Hizbul Mujahideen wants Kashmir to accede to Pakistan, it was up to people of Kashmir whether they wanted to join Pakistan, remain independent or continue to live with India. "Actually our entire struggle, 42 years of peaceful movement and later the armed struggle since 1989, is only for the right to self-determination. The people of Kashmir want their right to become the masters of their own fate," he added.

He also criticised Pakistan's previous government for providing "unilateral concessions" to India, saying that it caused irreparable loss to the Kashmiris' freedom struggle.

Salahuddin, however, welcomed the statement of newly elected Prime Minister of Pakitan Yousuf Raza Gillani on Kashmir and said that the issue was a "matter of life and death" for Pakistan. He hastened to add that they didn't want a confrontation between Pakistan and India.

Calling for a Kashmir-centric foreign policy by the new Pakistani government, he further warned that freezing the Kashmir issue, as suggested by some elements in Pakistan, would be tantamount to committing "national suicide". "India can convert Pakistan into a desert as a majority of rivers and water sources originate from Kashmir. In fact, India has already started doing so by constructing 52 dams on Chenab and other rivers originating from Kashmir and flowing into Pakistan," warned the Hizb chief.

The Hizb Commander claimed that the entire Pakistan was with the Kashmiri people but demanded a national consensus among all political forces in Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir on the pattern of India, where all parties have similar stance on the issue.

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