Hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam is the poster boy of a new campaign launched by the Jamaat-ud-Dawah on social media networks that projects Kashmir as the “jugular vein” of Pakistan.
The campaign, which includes efforts to trend hashtags such as #HamaraKashmir on Twitter and a music video titled “Kashmir Banay Gaa Pakistan” posted on YouTube, was launched on January 31.
The move has been timed to coincide with Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is observed every February 5 and is a national holiday in Pakistan. Several Twitter accounts linked to the JuD, described by the UN as a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, have tweeted messages in support of the campaign.
Masarat Alam, widely seen as a successor to hardline Hurriyat leader Ali Shah Geelani, appears three times in the music video, including a clip in which he can be heard saying: “Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular vein, we should not waver from that.” Alam also features in JuD posters and banners prepared for the campaign.
The music video also features an image of Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif with an Urdu caption that states “Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan”. Sharif had described the Himalayan region as Pakistan’s “jugular vein” while addressing a military function in Rawalpindi in May 2014.
The four-minute music video - made by Dawah Productions and posted on YouTube by Nazaria Pakistan, which appears to be a front for the JuD – also has an image of Indian’s parliament with an explosion on the soundtrack and pictures of Indian security personnel who have died in Pakistan.
Besides Masarat Alam, the music video also features Afzal Guru, who was executed for his role in the 2001 attack on India’s parliament, and separatist leaders such as Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Javed Mir, Asiya Andrabi and Geelani.
JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, who is also the founder of the LeT, appears in both the music video and a separate four-minute message posted on YouTube. Unlike videos put out by the JuD in the past, the music video and Saeed’s message are slickly produced in high definition video.
In the message, Saeed can be heard saying that the JuD’s movement will continue with “increased fervour day by day until the liberation of Kashmir becomes a reality”.
The JuD’s Twitter handle and several other accounts associated with the group have posted a series of tweets regarding the Kashmir Solidarity Day.