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July 26, 2000
Cease-fire decision taken in haste: Hurriyat
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
The separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Wednesday said that the "unilateral cease-fire" announced by the Hizbul Mujaheedin has been taken in "haste".
After an executive meeting at, attended by all members, at the residence of former APHC chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the Hurriyat said that the decision "may further complicate the Kashmir issue" instead of "helping in its peaceful resolution".
"The Indian government has not created the right political atmosphere as a prelude to the unilateral cease-fire offer by the Hizbul Mujaheedin," the APHC said.
The statement added that Kashmiris have made huge sacrifices and the "youths" were forced to take to the gun".
Describing Kashmir as a "nuclear flash-point", the APHC said only a peaceful political resolution will ensure peace in the sub-continent. "This hasty step could prove disruptive," the statement added.
The international community now admits that "Kashmir is a disputed territory" and its resolution can only ensure peace. The APHC said the "Kashmir issue can only be resolved through negotiations involving all parties to the dispute".
Earlier, the summer capital of Srinagar was rocked by five powerful bomb blasts. Police said two policemen were wounded in the blasts.
Two bombs exploded outside Shalimar Garden, on the banks of the Dal lake this afternoon. This was followed by another powerful explosion at Nishat. However, no one was wounded.
A bomb placed in a dustbin in the high security Nehru Park, also exploded.
Security has been tightened in the areas.
This morning, militants hurled a powerful hand grenade on a police patrol at Nawakadal, in the old city. The two policemen were wounded in the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which follow the cease-fire announced by the Hizbul Mujaheedin.
The Hizbul had appealed to other groups to suspend their activities.
However, all other frontline militant groups, including the Al-Umar Mujaheedin, Jaishe Mohammad, Lashkare Toiba, Tehrikul Mujaheedin , Muslim Jaabbaz Force, Jamiatul Mujaheedin and Al-Jehad have criticised the Hizbul Mujaheedin.
They described the cease-fire as a "betrayal".
An alliance of various Kashmiri militant groups, the United Jehad Council Wednesday expelled the Hizbul Mujaheedin from the council and it appointed Mohammad Usman as chairman, in place of Syed Salah-ud-Din.
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