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After UJC, ‘local’ Hurriyat rejects role of al-Qaeda in Kashmir

The Hurriyat said groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda are “nonexistent” in the state and that there is “no role for these groups within our movement”. “Our movement is local in nature and indigenous in character,” they said.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2017 20:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Zakir Musa,Hurriyat,Syed Ali Shah Geelani
A Kashmiri man argues with a paramilitary soldier at the temporary checkpoint during restrictions in Srinagar on Friday.(AP)

The Hurriyat has denounced al-Qaeda’s announcement declaring militant Zakir Musa as its regional head in Kashmir, and asserted that the freedom movement was local and indigenous.

“Terrorism and the freedom movement are poles apart. Our movement is local in nature and indigenous in character,” said a joint statement issued by Hurriyat leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik on Friday.

It also said that international terror outfits like ISIS and al-Qaeda are “non-existent” in the state and there is “no role for these groups within our movement”.

The statement came a day after Musa was chosen as the head of Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind, according to an announcement made by an al-Qaeda-affiliated propaganda channel.

Musa, one of the most prominent faces of Kashmir militancy, is one of the survivors of the homegrown militants, whose photos were posted on social media two years back by then Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Wani and several others in the photo were killed by security forces in different operations. Musa, who succeeded Wani, severed ties with the Hizbul after United Jihad Council (UJC) denounced his remarks threatening to behead the separatist leaders.

UJC chief Syed Salahuddin, who controls the Hizbul from beyond the de-factor border in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), had on Thursday denounced the al-Qaeda’s statement announcing Musa as its regional head.

Referring to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Hurriyat said that al-Qaeda and ISIS are involved in merciless killings, and neither are they fighting against tyrant forces nor have they succeeded in realising Islamic jurisprudence in any part of the world.

The statement also blamed Indian intelligence agencies for being “desperate to malign our movement” and “bring bad name to the freedom struggle in Kashmir”.

The statement said that New Delhi is “frustrated” and has launched a well-planned “psychological war against the freedom movement” and “label it with global terrorism”.

Warning people about the “deceitful game” of the Indian authorities, the leaders said that “the nation should follow every programme (of the joint leadership) with persistence and wisdom and asked to exhibit unity among its folds”.

First Published: Jul 28, 2017 20:27 IST