What are the circumstances that led to the ceasefire?
An impression was being disseminated world-wide that the freedom struggle in Kashmir was a terrorist movement. For the first time, the US state department declared it as such this year. We are not terrorists. We want Kashmir to be given its right to self-determination, as per the UN resolution. Kashmiris want to live peacefully and honourably. Our struggle is for them. Also, India was saying militants should help create an atmosphere conducive for talks. Since our struggle was dubbed as "terrorism", no talks could have been held. So we have given peace a chance.
When and how was this decision taken?
Every year the shoora (supreme decision-making body) of the Hizbul reviews the progress of its struggle. When we met early this year in Muzaffarabad, we took stock of the suffering of the Kashmiris, the misery inflicted by the Indian forces. A team of commanders from Azad Kashmir came here. In consultation with the field command council, they decided to offer a ceasefire. I spent three months...