In a paradigm shift, United Jehad Council chief Syed Salahuddin has backed separatists' move to relate public issues in Kashmir with "occupation" ahead of local bodies' polls and pledged more attacks saying "role of gun has become more important in present scenario".
"New Delhi isn't giving any charity to Kashmiris. It is importing electricity worth billions and people here are reeling under darkness. India is looting our resources... they (Hurriyat leaders) must raise day-to-day issues of people," said Salahuddin, who also heads the largest indigenous militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, in an interview to a local news agency on Wednesday.
The militant commander's statement will buttress moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's recent move to take on mainstream political parties over public issues.
"Out of Rs 1100 crore electricity bill, Rs 750 crore is pending with security forces. I challenge Omar Abdullah (chief minister) to realise the pending bill (sic)," said the Mirwaiz.
"New Delhi is working on a deliberate strategy of making Kashmiris people dependent for their survival. If Arab countries could prosper on oil resources, Jammu and Kashmir could have done so on water resources," said the Mirwaiz. Earlier, separatists and militants avoided public issues but recent successful panchayat polls is forcing the militant and separatists leadership to change tack in the valley. Pakistan-occupied Kashmir based militant leader Salahuddin, however, hinted at renewed attacks in Kashmir saying "role of gun is increasing day by day".
"Example is Iraq and Afghanistan. Nato has accepted defeat in Iraq. Not talks but Mujahideen forced them out. Nato is world's biggest power. But now they are pleading before Pakistan to give them safe passage from Afghanistan," said Salahuddin.
The UJC chief asked people to boycott upcoming municipal polls in Kashmir. "I appeal to people to boycott the elections as New Delhi exploits it. This is my personal opinion and the UJC haven't discussed it," said Salahuddin.
Warning of increased attacks in Kashmir in the future, Salahuddin said, "J&K will be free soon."
"Decisive phase of movement has come when we have to carry attacks in streets of Kashmir. Our infrastructure is intact and we can carry attacks wherever we like," he said.
Expressing cynicism over New Delhi's dialogue initiative, the militant leader said, "In last 60 years, 150 rounds of talks were held. India was neither sincere in past nor is today."