SRINAGAR, June 8: Hizb-ul-Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin has warned Pakistan of a serious backlash if it retracted from supporting militants fighting in Jammu and Kashmir-a region which has triggered at least two wars between India and Pakistan.
“We are fighting Pakistan’s war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support, the war would be fought inside Pakistan,” Salahuddin, who also heads the Muttahida Jihad Council- a grouping of militant organisations based in Pakistan- told Arab News.
Salahuddin was referring to a “decline in tensions” in Jammu and Kashmir following several rounds of talks between India and Pakistan.
He said he was “desperate and agitated” with the Pakistani political leadership’s new approach for normalising relations with India which, he added, had “stunned” Kashmiri leaders.
“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,” Salahuddin said.
“Pakistan is doing all this without keeping its own interest as prime due to foreign and Western pressures and not analyzing its disastrous consequences,” he claimed.
“Militancy alone is the solution to the Kashmir issues.”
“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 claimed.
The Hizb chief said the he believed the movement could not be wrapped up on the negotiation table.
“Who negotiated for the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan? Were there any talks in Iraq and Afghanistan? The US is compelled by the situation to withdraw its forces in the absence of any negotiation and we would follow the same strategy in Kashmir,” he said.
Salahuddin’s comments come at a time when authorities in this part of Kashmir are claiming that militancy against Indian rule was at lowest ebb ever since it started two decades ago and that only a few hundred militants were present in the state.