Hizb chief lays down conditions for talks

Hizb chief lays down conditions for talks

The chief of Hizbul Mujahideen has said that they are ready for talks only if New Delhi accepts that Kashmir is a disputed territory.

Syed Salahuddin's statement came a day after the Centre appointed a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, Dineshwar Sharma, as interlocutor for Kashmir.

"Let India accept our conditions and we are ready for talks," local newspapers in Srinagar quoted Salahuddin as having said in a press conference in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

"India should accept Kashmir as a disputed territory, accept that there are three parties to the dispute and hold meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with Hurriyat leadership in the light of UN resolutions for resolving the Kashmir issue as per wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir," he said.

Salahuddin, also the chairman of the United Jihad Council (UJC), an amalgam of militant organisations, said if India would have been sincere in talks.

"The former IB officer was appointed as an interlocutor by New Delhi to show to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that New Delhi was talking with Kashmiris. It is meant to hoodwink the world community," he claimed.

While this was the first reaction from the militant leadership after the appointment of Sharma, separatists in Kashmir have maintained a studied silence over any engagement with the Centre's special representative.

Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have maintained silence and refused to comment on New Delhi's offer of unconditional dialogue with all stakeholders for the last three days.

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