Kashmir Militant Groups Deny Massacres, Blame India
Kashmir's main militant outfit on Wednesday warned that a spate of killings threatened its fragile truce and accused India of deflecting blame for the failure of the peace process.
Indian allegations that Muslim "extremists" were behind the massacres sparked furious denials in Islamabad from many of the more than a dozen mujahedeen groups waging an 11-year separatist campaign in Kashmir.
The Hizbul Mujahedeen, which declared a surprise ceasefire last week and demanded three-way talks with India and Pakistan, rejected Indian allegations that Muslim separatists were behind the cold-blooded killings.
Hizbul spokesman Saleem Hashmi, without actually accusing India's security forces of orchestrating the violence, said New Delhi was insincere in its commitment to peace.
"They have not positively responded to our truce so how can they blame others for derailing peace?" he said, warning that India's attitude was jeopardizing the group's ceasefire.
The Harkatul Mujahideen, which is also opposed to the Hizbul's ceasefire, accused Indian security agencies of plotting the attacks to stir up communal violence and discredit the Muslim separatist campaign.
"With this act the Indian government wants to present the ceasefire as a positive step and dub other outfits as terrorists.
"None of the mujahedeen groups has any link with such acts”
More than 80 people, mostly Hindus, have died in Indian-controlled Kashmir since Tuesday in various incidents which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-backed Muslim "terrorists." – ISLAMABAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)