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August 9, 2000
Anti-Hizb operations resume
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Security forces in Kashmir resumed operations against the Hizbul Mujahideen and other frontline groups, Kashmir Range police chief Ashok Bhan told rediff.com on Wednesday afternoon.
The army and other paramilitary forces had suspended anti-militancy operations in Kashmir following the unilateral cease-fire announced by Hizb commander Abdul Majeed Dar on July 24.
While announcing the decision, Dar had demanded that "all anti-militancy operations should be stopped by the security forces and harassment of civilians halted.''
The organisation also pressed for its demand for the inclusion of Pakistan in the talks.
"We had stopped operations against the Hizb following the unilateral cease-fire," said Bhan and added, "but after the withdrawal of the cease-fire, the security forces have intensified their operations in the Valley against all outfits, including the Hizb.''
He said that in the past 24 hours the security forces killed 11 militants in Kashmir.
Security has been beefed up in the Valley and in Jammu following the cease-fire withdrawal. In the capital city Srinagar, troops checked vehicles and frisked passers-by. Security has also been beefed up around the Bakshi stadium as Independence Day nears.
Meanwhile, Fazal Haq Qureshi, who was the intermediary between the government and the Hizb, admitted the "talks have collapsed".
"There will not be further negotiations and I have lost contact with the commanders."
He said, "I don't know anything about them. There is no news about them."
He said that there was no chance of revival of talks.
He said Hizb chief Syed Salah-Ud-Din should have extended the deadline to "provide a chance for the talks to progress". He said that in view of the strict discipline in the Hizb "the commanders cannot continue further discussions with the government".
"It is all finished. I am told that the Hurriyat Conference is now trying to talk to Government of India. We will support them," he added.
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