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Hizb chief on hunger strike: Report

Source: PTI
March 16, 2006 20:43 IST
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Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, who was reportedly detained earlier while demonstrating against President Pervez Musharraf's Kashmir policy, has been on a hunger strike for the past five days to oppose the Indo-Pak peace talks, according to a newspaper in Islamabad.

Salahuddin, who also heads the United Jehad Council -- a conglomerate of militant groups active in Kashmir, continued the strike for the fifth day Wednesday in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, opposing the Indo-Pak talks on Kashmir, Urdu daily Jung reported Thursday.

He was also opposed to the Kashmir Conference organised by the US-based NGO 'Pugwash' in Islamabad this week in which Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and several other politicians from Srinagar participated.

There is, however, no official comment on the report that he was on a hunger strike.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Jamat-e-Islami party, which shared close links with Hizbul, expressed "serious concern" over Musharraf's various proposals on Kashmir.

JI's general body meeting, which was held Wednesday, alleged that after backtracking on the issues of Islamic identity of Pakistan, Afghan jihad and nuclear programme, Musharraf was taking a 'u-turn' on Kashmir, another Urdu daily Nawai Waqt reported.

JI also questioned the basis on which Musharraf "budged" from Pakistan's stated position on Kashmir and wanted to know whether India agreed to accept Kashmir as a dispute for his flexible attitude.

JI was strongly concerned about reports that Kashmiri militants were now forced to protest in front of decision-making institutions after verbal and written complaints against Pakistan government's "restrictions", the paper said.

The Jamat considers such protests a "very dangerous" sign and seeks peoples' support in this regard so that public demonstrations could be held on this issue, a party resolution said.

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