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Hardliners criticise Musharraf

K J M Varma in Islamabad | December 18, 2003 23:45 IST

Terrorist groups and hard-line religious parties on Thursday criticised President Pervez Musharraf for saying that Pakistan had left aside its policy of insisting a solution for the Kashmir issue on the lines of United Nations resolutions.

The United Jihad Council, a conglomerate of several terrorist groups, said Kashmiri groups had taken a firm stand demanding the implementation of the UN resolutions to facilitate a plebiscite to ascertain the wishes of Kashmiris.

The UJC said it had convened a meeting of its leaders to formulate a response to Musharraf's remarks.

"The meeting is likely tomorrow or day after," UJC spokesperson Saleem Hashmi said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami party, which backs terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, reacted angrily to Musharraf's statement and said no Pakistani ruler had the right to impose any decision on Kashmiris.

Addressing Musharraf as "un-elected", the chief of Jamaat's Pakistan-occupied Kashmir unit, Sardar Ejaz Afzal Khan, said the military ruler could not take a decision of national importance without parliament's approval.

"U-Turn of Pakistani rulers on Kashmir has perturbed Kashmiris and there is need for Pakistan people to hold the rulers accountable," he said.

He said a joint strategy would soon be chalked out at a conference of Kashmiri groups.

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