Kashmir’s freedom struggle has nothing to do with IS, al Qaeda: Separatists
Separatists in Kashmir have said the “ongoing freedom struggle” in the state is “indigenous” and has nothing to do with global terrorist groups such as the Islamic State or al Qaeda.
The hardline and moderate separatists, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, said in a joint statement on Monday evening that “terrorism and freedom movement are poles apart”.
“Our movement has nothing to do with these world-level groups and practically they are nonexistent in the state. There is no role for these groups in our movement,” they said.
The separatists alleged that government agencies were desperate to malign their movement and were drawing policies to bring a bad name to “ongoing freedom struggle” in Kashmir.
They said the authorities in Delhi were “frustrated and have launched a well-planned psychological war against the freedom movement” in a “ploy to create a wedge between people and brave hearts”.
“Indian agencies under the garb of some world level organisations are planning their roguish activities to influence international community,” they said.
“After miserably and humiliatingly failing to curb and contain the people’s movement by all the military might, the Indian government is frustrated to the extent that they have framed new tactics to change the discourse of ongoing freedom struggle,” they added.
They alleged that “agencies are hiring some sick minded and Ikhwan type goons and they have been assigned the task of creating chaos in state”. The separatists accused that “renegades like Ikhwan and agencies are now applying an approach”.
“They have decided to go for mysterious killings, burglary, loot, plunder and vandalism, under the garb of these groups to defame ongoing freedom movement & to influence international viewpoint,” they said.
The separatists appealed “pro-freedom quarters and armed faction to isolate all those elements, deliberately or unknowingly creating confusions among freedom ranks”.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said it was premature to talk about the future discourse of political destiny of the state but said: “it is the majority, that will decide the political discourse of state”.
“Let the people decide their political destiny through right to self-determination,” they said.
The joint statement has come after suspected militants asked people not to carry Pakistani flags but hoist black flags, similar to that of the IS and al Qaeda. And in March, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat said in a video that the militancy should not aim to create a new nation of Kashmir but for the supremacy of Islam.
In the 11-minute grainy video message, which went viral on social media, the 23-year-old Bhat urged the youth who throw stones at security forces to “check their intent”.
The law and order situation in Kashmir has gone downhill after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July 2016 and the valley has witnessed a cycle of violence with unrelenting street protests that have seen the participation of students, including girls.