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August 3, 2000
Salah-ud-Din wanted Dar to postpone Hizb ceasefire offer
The pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen's sudden announcement of a ceasefire in Kashmir about ten days ago has been blamed by its patron, the Jamaat-I-Islami, on the failure of Pakistani intelligence agencies.
A Pakistani Urdu daily Nawa-I-Waqt quoted Jamaat's secretary general Syed Munawar Hussain as asking country's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf to keep an eye on the role of intelligence agencies which might be catering to the agenda of world powers.
But the pro-Nawaz Sharief Muslim League sees Gen Musharraf's own hand in the ceasefire announcement. The joint meeting of the League's central executive council and the parliamentary party on Sunday turned its attention to this announcement and said this was a worse climbdown than the withdrawal of Pakistan-backed troops from Kargil last year - an event that Sharief says led to his removal from power.
But an ''inside'' story published by Urdu Daily Ausaf says Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Abdul Majid Dar's ceasefire announcement had been an open secret for the past about five months.
According to the paper, the decision was taken at its command council in Islamabad in March. The commanders, who attended this meeting, signed an agreement saying the ceasefire was inevitable because of certain compulsions. Dar was given the mandate to make the ceasefire announcement in Srinagar.
But before Dar could make the announcement the organisation's advisory council in Pakistan changed its mind and its supreme leader Syed Salah-ud-Din asked Dar to delay the announcement. When the latter disagreed, Salah-ud-Din threatened to address a press conference but Dar pre-empted him by making the announcement on the strength of the commanders' mandate. Salah-ud-Din then had no other option than to support the ceasefire.
In a BBC (Urdu) interview, Dar made it clear that outsiders (meaning Pakistani militants) had no business to interfere in his group's affairs in Kashmir. He said the group did not want any more bloodshed in Kashmir.
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