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Mirwaiz's call to end armed struggle rejected

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: January 21, 2007 15:10 IST
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The moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq's advice to militants to end armed struggle has been rejected by the Muzaffarabad-based United Jehad Council.

The Mirwaiz, currently on a visit to Pakistan had on Saturday sought an 'end to the armed struggle' maintaining that 'violence had achieved nothing other than increasing the grave yards in Kashmir'.

"Peaceful negotiations were the only way out. We have already seen the result of our fight on the political, diplomatic and military fronts which have not achieved anything other than creating more grave yards," the Mirwaiz said after his meetings with Pakistan leadership.

Taking a strong exception to the Mirwaiz advice, Syed Sadaqat Hussain, spokesman of the United Jehad Council, in a statement to the local press said, 'The statement of Mirwaiz may please some western circles and Indian leaders, but it cannot change the ground realities'.

"Kashmiris resorted to the armed struggle only after the political, constitutional and diplomatic struggle of 42 years, failed to bear any fruit and one hundred thousand people lost their lives in the ongoing armed struggle," the statement said.

The UJC said, 'Kashmiris have not given these sacrifices for self rule, internal autonomy or for an irrelevant line of control.

When the Indian government mercilessly could push the most popular leader, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, to the wall, then what is the worth of this group of people who have conflicting views and interest'.

'If Mirwaiz and other leaders of his like have become tired, disenchanted or hopeless about the future of freedom struggle due to adverse circumstances, we suggest them to sit back in their homes to lead a life of comfort. But
they should not teach the lesson of cowardice and hopelessness to people', the statement added. 

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar