The Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) on Saturday distanced itself from the statement of its commander Zakir Musa against the Hurriyat leaders bringing to fore rift in the militant outfit which has been fighting for Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan since 1989.
“The outfit has neither got anything to do with the statement of Musa nor the statement is acceptable to it,” Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman Saleem Hashmi said in a statement from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PaK).
Terming Musa’s remarks in an audio message that went viral on Kashmir’s social media as his “personal opinion”, Hashmi cautioned that any statement or step which will create confusion “can prove a death knell for our struggle”.
In the video clip earlier Musa had warned the separatist leaders not to interfere in establishing an Islamic state in Jammu and Kashmir. Hashmi said the outfit was examining the statement of Musa and will not “hesitate in taking any step or rendering any sacrifice” in the interest of the ongoing struggle.
Director General of Police S P Vaid said that police has carried out a voice analysis and found that it was Musa’s voice.
The clip surfaced after Hurriyat leaders recently sought to downplay the growing influence of Islamic State ideology in the Valley. Earlier this week, Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yaseen Malik issued a joint statement in which they claimed that the Kashmir struggle has nothing to do with Islamic State, Al-Qaida and other such organization.
Hashmi said the “entire leadership” demonstrated unity on all fronts after the killing of Hizbul’s Burhan Wani in July last year and are striving to carry forward the on going “struggle for freedom and Islam”. “In such a situation, any statement or step which will create confusion can prove a death knell for our struggle and,” Hashmi said.
Barely a few hours after HM disassociated itself from the statement of its commander against Hurriyat, Zakir Musa said that he was not part of the HM. “ If HM does not represent me then I don’t represent them. I will have no association with HM now onwards,’’ he said.
“There was a lot of confusion created about my last audio message in our Kashmir. I stand on my message and it does not affect me and I stand by my words. I want to tell one thing, that I did not speak about a particular person or Geelani Sahib, I spoke against the person who is against the freedom in the name of Islam and the one who talks about the freedom in the name of secularism,’’ Zakir said in a fresh audio message.
“If we are fighting for the freedom in the name of secularism then I think we won’t get status of a martyr. I know we will have to fight first the Indian occupation but our intention should be to get freedom in the name of Islam not for any secular state. If we are fighting for a secular state, my blood will not flow for this purpose.’’
About his recent statement on hanging of Hurriyat leaders, Zakir said that he did not say that about Hurriyat, but about those “moderates who support secular state after freedom from Indian oppression.
I don’t care if anyone stands with me or not, I stand by what I said. If Geelani’s intention is to enforce Shariya, I have no issues then. I have heard people saying that if Hurriyat members get killed, the blame will fall upon us, but how can we kill anybody without any suspicion. If we have to kill anybody we will make announcement prior to that, so that no Indian agency can take advantage of that.’’
On Friday Zakir had issued a statement in which he had threatened to slit the throats of Hurriyat leaders for calling Kashmir struggle a political movement. He is the successor of the Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the slain HM commander who was killed on 8 July, last year.