His remarks came a day ahead of the visit of a delegation of major political parties led by home minister Rajnath Singh to J&K as part of the effort to de escalate tensions.
Salahuddin, who heads the United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-backed alliance of anti-Indian Kashmiri militant groups, said the movement in Kashmir had entered a critical phase after Hizb commander Burhan Wani's killing. Salahuddin also heads the United Jihad Council (UJC), a Pakistan-backed alliance of about a dozen anti-Indian Kashmiri militant groups. He said the movement in Kashmir had entered a critical phase following Hizbul commander Burhan Wani's killing.
“For nearly two months, since the killing of Wani, curfew has not been lifted in the region. The entire region has been turned into a concentration camp,“ he said. “These sacrifices will not go in vain.The more they resort to use of force, the more they strengthen the movement of separatists and freedom fighters.“
Talks, he said, could not be held with out India's ac ceptance and recognition of Kashmir as a dispute. “If cept it as an is you do not accept it as an issue, then what is the need for dialogue,“ he asked. He warned Hizbul's “struggle“ wouldn't remain confined to Kashmir but “take the entire region into its fold“. Salahuddin and his Hizb have been a crucial factor in J&K militancy . Unlike the terrorists who belong to Pakistan and are deployed by Lashkar-eTaiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul draws its ranks from among the youth in the valley -which helps Pakistan argue that the secessionist movement is an indigenous fight for self-determination.
Although he is past his prime and at risk of being eclipsed by a new generation of jihadis, Salahuddin made it clear that he had not lost his penchant for using violence.
Justifying the use of suicide bombers, the mastermind of several terror attacks in Kashmir, said, “If soldiers from Andhra Pradesh, Madras, Assam, Nagaland, Haryana, Bihar and Delhi violate the sanctity of our houses, we are compelled and justified to carry out a suicide attack.''