Ahead of the all-party meet in Kashmir headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has said he will turn entire Kashmir into a “graveyard” for Indian armed forces. In an interview with the Times of India, Salahuddin, disregarding the all-party meet, said talks would be futile and the only answer to the issue of Kashmir was militancy.
“The Kashmiri leadership, people and mujahideen should know there is no formal, peaceful way,” TOI quoted him as saying.
While the all-party meet is an attempt to assuage the situation in the Valley, Salahuddin has warned of his “might”, threatening to “take the entire region into [militancy’s] fold”. He also said that the militancy movement took a sharp turn after the Hizbul militant Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, TOI reported.
Calling the Valley a concentration camp, he said use of more force by the army will only strengthen the militancy movement. “For nearly two months, since the killing of Burhan Wani, curfew has not been lifted in the region. The entire region has been turned into a concentration camp. These sacrifices will not go in vain. The more they resort to use of force, the more they strengthen the movement of separatists and freedom fighters,” he was quoted by TOI.
In the interview, he also said the lack of recognition of Kashmir as an issue by the government leaves no room for talks. “If you do not accept it as an issue, then what is the need for dialogue,” he said in the interview.
He also cited rigged elections as the reason why he took to the gun. “The main reason that compelled me to take up weapons was the bogus, rigged and planted elections in J&K,” he said.
Kashmir has been in a state of unrest since the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8. The curfew, which was lifted from most of the Valley last week for a day after a spell of 51 days, was re-imposed with J&K police reporting 35 incidents of stone-pelting from across Kashmir.