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August 8, 2000
Hizbul calls off ceasefire in Kashmir
The Hizbul Mujahideen on Tuesday called off its ceasefire, in place since July 24, and directed its field commanders to resume fighting the Indian forces in Kashmir.
The Hizbul Mujahideen had made known its displeasure at the statement by Prime minister A B Vajpayee in Parliament on Monday, that talks will be under the purview of the Indian Constitution. Analyst say from there, it was but a short step to calling off the ceasefire.
"The statement of the Indian prime minister has dashed all hopes and the hope of the people of Kashmir, who were hoping that their black days were near to an end," Hizb commander-in-chief Abdul Majid Dar had said in a statement.
The Hizb leadership had insisted that "unconditional" should mean without any constitutional constraints.
Another point of break was over the inclusion of Pakistan in the negotiations. While the Hizbul, which functions from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, was keen on Islamabad being part of the talks, New Delhi was set against it.
The talks, held between Hizbul commanders and a team headed by Home Secretary M B Kaushal, were significant in that it was for the first time that the Indian government was sitting across the table with Kashmiri militants.
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