Wednesday, November 14,  2001,Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Hizb rejects APHC’s ceasefire call

Srinagar, November 13
Pakistan-backed Hizbul Mujahideen, one of Jammu and Kashmir’s most dominant militant groups, has rejected the call of the Hurriyat Conference for a ceasefire as well as Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s appeal to lay down arms and participate in the next Assembly elections.

A spokesman for the outfit, Mr Junid-ul-Islam, told a local news agency after a two-day conference of field commanders that the outfit had also chalked out a “new military strategy” in view of the emerging scenario in the region.

The field commanders were directed to strictly implement the “instructions”, he said but did not elaborate.

The outfit’s rejection of ceasefire call is seen as a rebuff to yesterday ‘s appeal by the 23-party amalgam of political and religious groups for a “comprehensive ceasefire” by all groups, including the militants and security groups, as part of a three-point formula to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Responding to Mr Vajpayee’s recent appeal to the militant groups to participate in elections, the spokesman said the people of Jammu and Kashmir had already rejected the “so-called elections” in the state in the past and would ensure complete boycott of the coming elections.

Meanwhile, separatist organisations in the state reiterated that they would not join the election fray and termed the exercise as “futile”.

“Our struggle is not just to capture power for five to six years but for total resolution of the vexed issue of Jammu and Kashmir once and one for all,” Hurriyat Chairman Abdul Gani Bhat said.

J and K Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmad Shah said elections would be yet another “futile exercise” and would “take us nowhere”.

"Cham," the famous mask festival of Ladakh, symbolises destruction of ignorance and evil spirits.
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Mr Shah said though his party was not against elections there was a need to address the Kashmir issue first which was “most important” than any electoral exercise.

Former Chief Minister and President of the Awami National Conference G. M. Shah said he considered elections as a “drama full of irregularities”. PTI

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