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August 1, 2000
Hizbul threatens to end cease-fire: AFP
The Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit said on Tuesday that it was losing patience with India's "dilly-dallying" and warned its cease-fire could end suddenly unless New Delhi agreed to unconditional three-way peace talks.
The group's spokesman also said that along with Pakistan, the talks would have to include Kashmir's main separatist umbrella organisation, the Hurriyat Conference, with Hizbul only acting as a monitor.
"Instead of dilly-dallying, New Delhi should give a clear-cut answer whether it is ready to start an unconditional tripartite dialogue on Kashmir," militia spokesman Salim Hashmi said.
"India should give a prompt reply or we shall end the cease-fire. We cannot wait for long," Hashmi said, referring to "ambiguous signals" from Indian authorities following last week's unexpected cease-fire offer.
"The Hizbul rejects any talks within the framework of the Indian Constitution. Kashmir is a disputed region and India must recognise this," the Hizbul spokesman said.
He also said Hizbul would only monitor the proposed dialogue, with the Hurriyat Conference representing the Kashmiris.
"We are a fighting force and it is not our task to engage in negotiation," he said, adding that previous statements from Hizbul representatives that a negotiating committee had been set up were false.
Hashmi made no comment on Monday's guerrilla attack on an army camp in Kashmir.
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