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Kashmir militant chief flays Israeli interference

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Srinagar, India, Sept 21, IRNA


Top militant commander in Kashmir has described the recent visit of Israeli army chief to the strife- torn Muslim state and his offer of help to India in combating pro- independence struggle here as violation of international law.

Sayed Salahuddin, chairman of United Jehad Council, an amalgam of several militant organizations active in Indian administered Kashmir said the recent 'secret' visit of Israeli Ground Forces Command Chief Major General Avi Mizrahi to Kashmir and his offer to Indian government for help were a brazen violation of international law and norms, which, he said, was condemnable.

Major General Avi Mizrahi paid an unscheduled visit to the disputed state early this month to get a close look at the challenges the Indian military faces in its fight against Kashmiri guerrillas who are battling for implementation of 1948 UN resolutions calling for plebiscite.

Mizrahi, according to Israeli media, discussed a plan the IDF is drafting for Israeli commandos to train Indian counter insurgency forces, with Indian officials during his visit.

Under the proposed agreement, the IDF would send highly-trained commandos to train Indian soldiers in counter terror tactics, urban warfare and fighting in guerrilla settings, Israeli media reported.

"We strongly condemn it. Israel's intelligence and military intervention will in no way impact the armed struggle in Kashmir," Salahuddin said in an interview from his base in Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir. The interview has been widely published in Srinagar press.

The Kashmiri militant commander urged Pakistan, which he said was a party to the Kashmir dispute to raise the concern with international community.

"Pakistan has the duty to apprise international institutions about Israel's involvement, and agitate the issue forcefully," he said.

Salahuddin asked Pakistan to convene an international conference to draw attention to the oppression of the Indian forces in Kashmir, and said that the role of the OIC should not be limited to mere lip sympathy.

"If the OIC wants to render concrete assistance to Kashmiris, all Islamic countries should severe all sorts of diplomatic and trade ties with India," he said.

He said that the OIC had not been able to constitute a single fact-finding group on Kashmir till now, basically because Muslim nations had neither the intention nor the capability to take practical steps about Kashmir.

"This is why India treats OIC resolutions and demands with contempt. If the OIC is sincere, it should snap relations with India," he said.

On the proposed meeting between newly elected Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian premier Manmohan Singh in New York, Salahuddin said that he had no expectations from the meeting as such meetings had proved futile during the past 60 years.

Meanwhile a top leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani also has expressed concern at the Kashmir visit of the Israeli army chief, saying that India wanted Israeli assistance in crushing the freedom struggle here.

"India is adopting Israeli strategy in wreaking death and destruction in Kashmir, and we severely condemn the policy," he said.

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