KARACHI: Supreme militant commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin urged Pakistan on Sunday to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing violence in India-held Kashmir.
If a peaceful solution is not reached then Pakistan should consider cutting off diplomatic ties with India over the killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani in Kashmir.
Speaking during a press conference at the Jamaat-i-Islami’s (JI) headquarters, Idara Noor-i-Haq, here Salahuddin, who is also the head of the Muttahida Jihad Council, said that the young commander’s killing gave “new meaning to the struggle for India-held Kashmir”.
Salahuddin spoke for the entire duration of the one-hour press conference, with members of the JI, including its Karachi emir Naeem-ur-Rahman, sitting next to him. The reporters were informed that Salahuddin had come on a short visit to Karachi from Muzaffarabad to “especially speak to the media”.
Reading from a piece of paper, Salahuddin said:“Today marks the 30th day of curfew in India-held Kashmir. The violence has claimed 65 lives so far and around 125 people are injured through the pellet guns used by the Indian troops.”
He said Pakistan was “morally bound” to help the Kashmiris at this time.
Pointing out the United Nations Security Council resolution on the accession of Kashmir, he said there were so far “18 such resolutions tabled by the UN on Kashmir which have been ignored by the international community”.
He added: “Any resistance by the Kashmiris in the face of the extreme violence perpetrated by the Indian troops will end up being the responsibility of the international community besides India.”
In light of the current discord in relations between India and Pakistan due to the wave of violence exacerbated by the killing of Wani in Kashmir, Salahuddin said that calling back ambassadors from India is the “best solution at the moment.”
The diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring countries turned bitter recently when Indian home minister Rajnath Singh left a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) meeting amid a spat with his Pakistani counterpart, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. During the meeting, the Indian home minister accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism which led Nisar to snub him during the luncheon thrown for the Saarc members.
Speaking about the recent turn of events, Salahuddin said he had “advised the government to not participate in the Saarc meeting; yet the government went ahead with it”.
However, he appreciated the protests in India and discussion on the Kashmir issue in Indian parliament. Specifically mentioning international writer Arundhati Roy, he said: “It is good to know that there are people, such as Arundhati Roy sahiba, who question the motives of their own state as well.”
Answering a question after the press conference was over, he said that Pakistan’s policy towards Kashmir “remains inconsistent” which gave strength to the Indian troops in the valley. Despite the “indecisiveness on Pakistan’s part”, he added that the Kashmiris were getting ready for “a decisive moment to take matters in their own hands. With the increasing violence, many Kashmiris believe that armed resistance is the only way to move through the chaos.”
Karachi emir of the JI Naeem-ur-Rahman said that Aug 15 would be commemorated as a ‘black day’ in which rallies would be taken out from Muzaffarabad to Chakothi, near the Wagah border crossing in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2016