Linking Kashmir’s freedom struggle with Qaeda, ISIS a ploy to defame it: HM Commander

Srinagar: Despite concerns expressed by the Government of India on July 19, 2017 over the regular appearance of militants at funerals of fellow militants killed by the Indian Armed Forces’ operations, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo on Sunday showed up at the funeral of the slain militant Shariq Ahmad at Takuna and addressed the huge gathering of people that were present there.

Urging people not to fall in the “trap”, Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo on Sunday said linking of Al-Qaeda with Kashmir is to defame the ‘freedom’ struggle.

“Efforts are being made to defame the Kashmir freedom struggle,” he added.

Without naming Zakir Musa who was recently named head of Al-Qaeda wing in Kashmir, Naikoo said that all the people holding the flag of Islam “are not necessarily our own”.

“Pakistan flag is our flag. Linking our struggle with Al Qaeda and ISIS is a ploy to defame it,” he further added.

Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Mahmood Shah, on Sunday, paid tributes to Shakir Ahmed and Shabir Ahmed, affiliated to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, who were killed in a gunfight in Pulwama district.

The Home Ministry told the Parliament on July 19 that “Centre is seized of the matter.”

Minister of State (MoS) for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a reply to parliamentarian Rajkumar Dhoot, said, “As per the report of state government, a few instances of militants making brief appearance in large gathering of funeral of militants (killed by Indian Armed Forces) have been observed.”

Two militants, reportedly from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed in a gunfight with the Indian Armed Forces in Tahab area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir on Sunday.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen , founded by Muhammad Ahsan Dar in September 1989, is a Kashmiri resistance and designated Islamic militant group, active in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. The current commander of the group is a Syed Salahudeen.

At least three rounds of funeral prayers were held for the slain Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant Shariq Ahmad at his ancestral Takuna village of Pulwama in south Kashmir on Sunday.

Thousands of people from different villages turned up in Takuna village to take part in his last rites.

In a similar incident in the past, on June 18 last month, the United Jihad Council (UJC) paid tributes to the three militants and three civilians who were killed during an encounter in Arwani area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district and in Rangreth clashes.

The United Jihad Council, also known as the Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC), is an umbrella organisation formed by the Pakistan Army for unified command and control over the resistance militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

It was formed in the summer of 1994 and is currently headed by Syed Salahuddin, the leader of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The organisation was created to unify and focus efforts of various armed militant groups fighting against the ‘Indian rule’ in Kashmir.

In an statement emailed to local news agency KNS, the outfit chief, Syed Salah-ud-din had said the ‘sacrifices’ rendered by the three militants including Junaid Matoo, Aadil Mushtaq Mir and Naseer Ahmad Wani and three civilians including Muhammad Ashraf, Ahsan Dar and Naseer Ahmad Sheikh of Bandipora ‘won’t go waste.’

Back in February, the conglomerate of Kashmir based militant organizations; United Jihad Council has paid rich tributes to four militants who were killed in a gun battle with Indian troopers in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday morning.

The conglomerate has also castigated Indian security establishment for murdering innocent civilians in Kashmir.

In the month of February, last year, Adil Ahmed, the LeT militant from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district was laid to rest at his ancestral grave yard at Bandarpora of the district while reports said that his brother Shafat Ahmed who is also a militant participated in his last rites.


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