Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Courtesy: Times of India
New Delhi Oct 19 (Only Kashmir): Once the most formidable face of Kashmir militancy, Hizbul Mujahideen is slowly fading away as its remaining commanders and cadres are being taken out on a regular interval by security forces.
According to estimates available here, there is hardly over two dozen active militants left in HM, the biggest indigen ous militant group ever in Kashmir. Even the remaining militants have not resorted to any major action in months now. "They are
basically reduced to throwing occasional grenades or random firing, even those are very rare," a senior official said on the plight of HM.
Over the last few weeks, security forces eliminated or arrested many of the remaining HM operatives in the Valley. On October 13, Kashmir Valley's longest serving militant and one of the senior-most HM members, Mushtaq Killer alias Mustaq Janghi, was killed. In the same operation, another militant was killed while a third one was arrested.
A few days prior to the operation, security forces had arrested Mohammad Shafi, also known as Dr Dawood, believed to be the head of operations of HM in the troubled state. He, along with former operational chief Abdul Majid Dar who was killed in 2003, and HM's Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin, were among the early members of HM who played a critical role in shaping the militancy that has raged for the past quarter century.
Started by Jamaat-e-Islami members who revolted against the 1987 rigged elections and other oppressive policies, HM grew into the dominant militancy group by the early 1990s, with almost full membership comprising of local Kashmiris. Though they had foreign hands, HM's dominant presence as a militant group of locals gave the Kashmir insurgency a completely local flavour and some amount of global justification.
In 2000, the group took the bold initiative of entering into a ceasefire with the security forces, but within weeks it was scuttled by powers that be in Pakistan. The ceasefire and subsequent talks with New Delhi's representatives catapulted Abdul Majid Dar, the then chief commander of HM in the state, into the limelight. Dar had by then resigned to the need for a peaceful settlement but his immediate superior Salahuddin, who has been based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for the past two decades, withdrew his endorsement of the ceasefire within days. Dar was later suspended from HM, and was shot dead in 2003.
Around the same period, ideological differences between other groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which now dominates Kashmir insurgency, also emerged. LeT had started launching suicide bombers (fidayeen) in 1999 but HM disagreed with the tactics. The Kashmiri group believed it was un-Islamic to give up life.
Long-time observers of Kashmir within the establishment point out that the slow death of HM is a sign of the disenchantment of the local population towards violence. But if New Delhi fails to seize the political space available to make lasting peace, a new kind of violence, more deadly and foreign cannot be ruled out, they warn.


Friday, October 14, 2011


New Delhi 14 Oct (Only Kashmir): Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Friday distanced himself from Prashant Bhushan's remarks on Kashmir and said that the entire state was an integral part of India. Bhushan had earlier said that plebiscite should be carried out in Kashmir to determine its future.
Anna displayed his displeasure at Bhushan's comment and said, "Prashant Bhushan's views on Kashmir are wrong. We do not endorse Prashan Bhushan's statement on Kashmir. I will tell Prashant Bhushan that if he is giving an opinion on a subject, he can give it in his personal capacity. If he is giving the team's view, he should speak to the team before."
Anna also cleared his stand on the Kashmir issue and said, "My personal view is that Kashmir is an integral part of India."
Bhushan, an integral part of Team Anna, was brutally attacked on Wednesday for his remarks by three people - Tejinder Singh Bagga, Inder Verma and Vishnu Gupta.
Anna also added that future of the senior lawyer as a member of his team is in doubt following the controversial comments. "We will decide if Bhushan would be part of Team Anna," said Anna.
The 74-year-old also clarified that the Team Anna will only fight against corruption and for a strong Lokpal. "Team Anna will work to bring Jan Lokpal Bill and corruption free India," he said.
Bhushan's comments for plebiscite in Kashmir has also been criticised by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Thackeray supported the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena members who attacked Bhushan.
In an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna', Thakerey wrote that Bhushan's attackers were not rogues or thieves but were genuinely angered by Bhushan's comment on Kashmir and if their actions are widely criticised, so must be Bhushan's statement.
Thackeray also attacked Anna for criticising the violence but not commenting on Bhushan's statements on Kashmir. He said such people should get a dose of nationalism and supporters of Hindutva must show them how the torch of a revolution is lit.
Bhushan has, however, stood by his comments on Kashmir and claimed that merely expressing a view that is not liked by some sections of the society does not mean that the statements are seditious.
He said that fascist mindset was now increasingly being seen in several people and several organisations and added that if someone does not agree with any viewpoint then that person has every right to express his opposition, but that should not become a license to indulge in violence.


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