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21 November 2000
Cease -fire: Kashmir groups should reciprocate accordingly
Commenting on the unilateral cease -fire declaration made by the Government of India for the holy month of Ramadan, Shabir Choudhry, President of JKLF UK & Europe, said it is a good gesture and should be reciprocated accordingly.
People of Kashmir want much more than one month of cease-fire. They want to resolve the Kashmir dispute which has greatly affected their lives, and live with peace and honour. Some Kashmiri groups may think one month of cease-fire with no intention to seek resolution of the dispute is not what we want. It must be noted that in the atmosphere of mistrust and state of war, no one action on its own, no matter how great could lead to resolution of the Kashmir dispute. It has to be an incrementalist approach, a step by step move where the parties to the dispute take confidence-building measures.
Shabir Choudhry said if this offer is not reciprocated accordingly than we could be providing India with a propaganda tool to tell the world that India is willing to make moves towards peace but it is the opposite side which is not responding appropriately. He further said that others may have different agenda but it is in the interest of the Kashmiri groups fighting for independence that they take this offer seriously and use this time to make this cease-fire into a permanent one. By accepting a cease -fire during the holy month Ramadan we could demonstrate that we respect the sanctity of Ramadan, we respect human life which would be saved as result; and that we are not in favour of unnecessary violence and bloodshed.
Shabir Choudhry said the previous cease - fire declared for a month by the Hizb Ul Mujahideen, could not hold because of different pressures. We should use this month of cease - fire and make some confidence building measures to prove that we want to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue. We want peace and stability in Kashmir but without compromising on our stand - we want peace with dignity and honour.