MUZAFFARABAD (NNI) - Chairman United Jihad Council and supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin has said that India on the pretext of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and trans LoC trade wants to kill the Kashmir issue, and dilute the intensity of ongoing struggle in Kashmir.

Talking to group of journalists, the UJC chief said, “There are sinister designs on the part of New Delhi behind all these CBMs and diplomatic overtures. Under the garb of these so-called CBMs New Delhi wants to kill the real issue, which is the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination that was promised to them by the international community.”

He was of the view that New Delhi endeavours to enhance cross LoC trade and people to people contact so that the influx of people across the divide increases and volume of trade and commerce undermines the real issue. “This can prove detrimental to the interests of Kashmiris and Pakistan, and fatal for the real cause,” he said.

He alleged that Indian motive behind the CBMs was a ploy to maintain the status-quo. “India wants to hoodwink international community thereby giving a false notion that the Kashmir issue is being addressed but the fact remains that for last several years no serious efforts could be made to address the real issue,” he added.

He said that the UJC leadership from day one had been opposing the CBMs. “Kashmiris’ have not rendered sacrifices for trade, there is not even a single example that people of Kashmir have ever demanded that they should be allowed to go across the divide,” he pointed out.

“Kashmiris demanded only one thing that is the complete withdrawal of forces so that they may be able to decide their fate as per their aspirations,” the Hizb chief maintained. Referring to Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) he said, “AFSPA is a black law, due to which forces commit unprecedented human rights violations in Kashmir. This law is an instrument by which the forces want to stifle the ongoing legitimate struggle and suppress Kashmiris’ ultimate demand for right to self-determination.”

Regarding the Indian demand to wind up UN Military Observers Group from India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), Salahuddin said that Kashmir was an internationally recognized disputed territory and so far the two countries had fought three full-fledged wars on the issue. Since the last 23 years an armed struggle has been going on in Kashmir and over half a million Kashmiris have been killed in the dispute so far, thousands of women have been molested and gang-raped, property worth billions of rupees has been destroyed due to this unresolved dispute,” he argued. “And even when I talk to you, people of Kashmir are demonstrating their resentment against New Delhi by observing a shutdown. So how can international community compromise its 65 years old stance on the Kashmir issue and accept the bogus demand of India that UNMOGIP should wind up its operations,” he said. 

“Presence of UNMOGIP in the area means that Kashmir is a disputed territory and the observers presence in the region also shows that international community and the UN are committed to honour their commitments that Kashmiri people will be given their right to decide their destiny,” he said, adding that New Delhi’s demand to windup UNMOGIP was unjustified and uncalled-for and that’s why the world community and the UN out rightly rejected the New Delhi’s demand.

Regarding NC leader’s statement regarding Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, the Hizb chief said that such statements were indeed very close to reality and historical facts but “We smell a hypocrisy in it, we feel that it may be a ploy just to gain the vote bank in future elections otherwise if the NC leadership is convinced that the inalienable right of the people of Kashmir has been snatched by the dint of force then it should resign and join the separatist camp,” he said.

Referring to LK Advani’s statement that forces deployed in Kashmir cannot be punished, he said, “Advani and the people of his like are convinced and convergent on this point that by every means the legitimate struggle in Kashmir should be crushed. HR violations, human rights and human values have no value before them and they have nothing to do with it,” he added.

Salahuddin expressed dismay over Kashmiri youth being awarded life sentences. He also thanked people of Kashmir for observing complete shutdown on January 26.