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Guerrilla chief warns PDP leader
AFP, PTI
Muzaffarabad, January 08, 2003
First Published: 22:50 IST(24/10/2002)
Last Updated: 22:11 IST(8/1/2003)

A top commander of Pakistan-based guerillas fighting Inan rule in Kashmir on Thursday threatened Kashmir's People's Democratic Party (PDP) with "dire consequences" if it projected itself as a supporter of the guerrillas.

The PDP and the Congress party are discussing forming a coalition government in Kashmir, following elections in which the two parties together won 36 of the state assembly's 87 seats.

Al-Omar Mujahedin commander Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar said PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had "used the name of fighters to muster public support."

"Mufti Sayeed will have to face the music, if his party continues attempts to muster support by using the name of the mujahideen," Zargar said in a statement issued here.

"The statements of Mufti Sayeed that his party supports the mujahideen are a pack of lies and part of propaganda to gain the sympathies of the people of Kashmir," Zargar said.

"The people of Kashmir have nothing to do with the PDP, which is eager to join the government under Indian patronage. And for this purpose it is making false claims, which is intolerable,"

Zargar said Al-Omar rebels would "take forceful action" against the PDP if it persisted in presenting itself as backed by the rebels.

"Let it be clear to everyone that we not only condemn such effors and attempts, but will take forceful action against them as well," he said.

Al Omar spokesman Osama Askri said the rebels had nothing to do with the PDP or any other party which took part in the elections.

"We have no say on whether the PDP join Congress or any other party in the government because we're not interested in the process," Askri said.

Al Omar's Zargar was among three Islamic militants who were released by the Indian government in December 1999 in exchange for the passengers of a hijacked Indian airliner.

The other two were Islamic militants Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of the outlawed Pakistan-based rebels Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, convicted of the murder earlier this year of American journalist Daniel Pearl.


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