Zakir Musa

On July 27, UK newspaper The Guardian ran a story of Kashmiri militant becoming head of ‘Al-Qaeda linked cell’ – Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.

In first such case, in both, Kashmiri heading Al-Qaeda group and Al-Qaeda’s formal presence in valley, the name is erstwhile Hizbul Mujahideen Kashmir commander Zakir Musa.

The creation of the group was announced by Global Islamic Media Front, an al-Qaida-affiliated information network, a report in the guardian said.

The announcement has put the already alarmed resistance leadership in a tight spot. Vouching for Kashmir movement of being indigenous, the global name is worrying them. The militant leadership who have repeatedly made it clear that Kashmiri struggle has nothing to do with global movements are equally in sticky situation.

The people in Kashmir are concerned over the development alike, so has police chief reaffirmed to investigate the arrival of any such outfit.

A day after the news about announcement, United Jihad Council’s supreme commander and chief of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin, in a video message said that ISIS and Al-Qaeda has no role in Kashmir.In a veiled reference to Zakir, who parted ways from Hizb, he said that some of “our friends play in the hands of our enemy and are harming the unity of the nation and its leadership”.

Zakair Musain May 2017 parted ways with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen following his announcement through a video message that he is “fighting” for implementation of Sharia in Kashmir. “If Hizbul Mujahideen doesn’t represent me, then I also don’t represent them. From now onwards, I have no association with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.” He denounced “nationalistic struggle” as forbidden in Islam and even “threatened” Hurriyat leadership.

The developments came as a shock to resistance leadership and general public.

Emphasizing that Kashmir freedom movement is indigenous, resistance leaders said that Kashmiri’s have no global ambition and the global groups are non-existent in Kashmir.

However, Zakir has his way.

Zakir, born in Noorpora village of Tral, joined militancy in 2013. An engineering student in a Chandigarh college, Zakirwas on a vacation when he got in contact with militants. Inspired, he left home.

Son of an engineer, Zakirbelongs to an affluent family. His brother is an orthopaedic and sister a banker.

In April this year Zakir released a video message in which he criticized Pakistan for being “un-Islamic”.  “We have to do jihad with Pakistan as well,” he had said.

Later, in June,Zakir released another video in which he denounced Indian Muslims as the most “beghairatqaum” for “not raising their voice against injustice that the community has been subjected to”.

Believed to be a close associate of Burhan Wani, after his killing, Zakir replaced Burhan as the commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

However the stand of Zakir, many believe is ‘Doval Doctrine’. The allegation, however, negated by Musa saying, “he fights for the cause of Allah and does not need certificate while pledging to fight alone.”

– Zafar Aafaq


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