Srinagar, May 25: Day after Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh made a conditional offer of talks to the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, the militant conglomerate United Jehad Council, in a significant move, while expressing willingness to join the parleys for resolution of Kashmir issue set its own preconditions for any such talks.
Reacting to the
Prime Minster’s offer, UJC spokesperson Syed Sadaqat Hussain, in a
statement issued from Pakistan administered Kashmir (Pak) capital
Muzaffarabad, said the militant leadership was ready to join tripartite
talks if Government of India accepts Kashmir as a dispute and initiates
confidence building measures including revocation of the Armed Forces
Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), release of
political detainees and curbing all kinds of human rights violations in
Jammu and Kashmir. “If Dr Manmohan Singh is sincere on initiating
meaningful talks with militant leadership, he must take these
initiatives to set the process in motion,” he said and added that the
Government of India must realize that the bilateral efforts made in the
past have proved futile due to the absence of the real Kashmiri
representatives in such initiatives.
Hussain said India’s stubborn
attitude towards Kashmir issue has always been an impediment in the
UJC spokesman said there should be no precondition
of asking militants to lay down arms before entering into any parleys.
“If the talks process (with militant leadership) is initiated in good
faith and with a sincerity of purpose and it makes headway towards the
resolution of the issue, the militant activities would cease on their
own,” he said and added that there are instances of conflict areas like
Vietnam and Afghanistan where armed struggle and talks went on side by
Pertinently, Dr Manmohan Singh had at a press conference in
Delhi on Monday said that his government was ready to hold dialogue with
all groups in Jammu and Kashmir “which are outside the political
mainstream provided they shun violence.”
“I would once again like to
appeal to all elements in Jammu and Kashmir that our government is ready
for a dialogue provided all these groups which are outside the
political mainstream shed the path of violence,” Dr Singh had said,
apparently addressing the militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
statement came ahead of Dr Singh’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir scheduled
for June 7 and 8.
In place to mention that the then chief commander
of Hizbul Mujahideen Majid Dar had in July 2000 declared a unilateral
cease-fire. After declaring the cease-fire Hizb insisted that the
Government of India must explicitly state within a two-week time frame
that Kashmir is a disputed territory and tripartite discussions
including Pakistan in addition to India and Kashmir representatives
begin immediately in order to address the problem.
collapsed after two rounds of talks in Srinagar and Dar was killed by
unidentified gunmen on 23 March 2003 at Sopur.
Another initiative was
taken by the Government of India by declaring a unilateral cease-fire
in Jammu and Kashmir on 19 November 2000 in view of the holy month of
Ramadhan. The ceasefire was initiated by the then Prime Minister Atal