If Pak withdraws support,war will be fought there: Salahudin

At what cost does Pak seek peace,asks the top Kashmiri militant leader.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 8, 2012 1:20 am

Frustrated by Islamabad’s recent push to normalise relations with India,top Kashmiri militant leader Syed Salahudin has said that this “new approach” sidelining “Kashmir’s struggle for the right of self determination” by Pakistan has turned him “desperate’’ and “agitated’’ .

In an interview with the Arab News,Salahudin,the chairman of the amalgam of militant outfits United Jihad Council and Chief of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit,has said,“We (militants) are fighting Pakistan’s war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support,the war would be fought inside Pakistan.” He said that Islamabad’s move to “bestow the title of Most Favoured Nation to India,open several trade routes along the Line of Control and along the settled boundaries’’ has given “a clear signal” to Kashmiri political and militant leaders that “Pakistan wants business with India”.

But at what cost does Pakistan seek peace and under what strategy will it follow the peace process,Salahudin asked. “Kashmir has been the key issue but now it has become peripheral as all claims of supporting our struggle politically,diplomatically and morally are nothing but lip service,” he said. “Pakistan is doing all this without keeping its own interest as prime due to western pressures without analysing its disastrous consequences.”

Salahudin’s comments are especially important as they come soon after the Home Secretary level talks between the two countries in Islamabad recently.

He also said that “several successive governments in Pakistan,starting from Benazir Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif,then Gen. Musharraf and now Asif Ali Zardari,have all adopted the policy of normalizing relations besides continuing to discuss the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir with India at bilateral level talks but more than a dozen such talks have brought no fruit”.

“All those who were involved in the so-called peace talks eventually admitted that India is not serious and that it gained more and more time to implement its own design for the region,” he said.

Criticising the shift of Pakistan’s policy,Salahudin said that “the process started in Musharraf’s era supported by the Americans for de-escalating tensions successfully brought down militancy in Kashmir,but for many this strategic shift damaged Pakistan a lot”.

He said a solution of Kashmir can only be achieved through militancy. He also said that the “existing dichotomy on the Kashmir issue has placed the Pakistanis in a dilemma on whether to support militancy or the peace process’’ and “that is why the Pakistanis are silent and irreverent”.

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