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August 22, 2000
Hizb hopes talks will resume soon, says Dar
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Abdul Majid Dar, chief commander (operations) of the Hizbul Mujahideen, hoped on Tuesday for a resumption of talks between the government and his organisation following efforts by various quarters at the international level.
In an interview to a local news agency, Dar said, "We may again announce the unilateral cease-fire within the next two months."
The Hizb commander blamed what he called vested interests for sabotaging the recent move by his outfit and the subsequent talks with the central government. The unilateral cease-fire by the outfit, he said, "had relieved the people of tension" and "generated hopes in the valley".
He ridiculed Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's statement regarding secret talks between the Hizb and the government. "HM does not believe in secret talks and whatever we do, we place it before the press and the public," he said.
The Hizb commander hoped the talks between the government and his outfit would resume soon. But he made it clear that the Kashmir dispute could only be resolved finally through trilateral talks among India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris.
"All bilateral agreements, including the Tashkent Pact, Simla Agreement, Indira-Sheikh accord, all have failed to establish peace and solve the problem. No solution is possible without Pakistan's participation and India must accept this. Like India, Pakistan too holds a huge chunk of our territory," he said, adding, "The Kashmir issue can only be resolved on the table even if the militancy continues for another 10 years. The process must start now."
The Hizb commander strongly denied any rift in the outfit and said, "I talk to the chief commander, Syed Salahuddin."
In the interview, Dar hinted that a co-ordination committee between the Hizb and the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference was in offing. "We hold the APHC in high esteem," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Abdullah lashed out at "elements thriving on misleading slogans of azadi". He said, "It is a good augury that a realisation is dawning on various groups of the futility of the gun culture."
Ridiculing the observation made by some that his demand for autonomy was just a ploy to scuttle any peace process in the valley, he said, "I wish success for any talks for bringing peace in Jammu & Kashmir." Restoration of autonomy, he said, would satiate the aspirations of the people.
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