Monday, August 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Hizbul Mujahideen may split

NEW DELHI, Aug 20 (PTI) — The Hizbul Mujahideen, the militant outfit which announced a unilateral ceasefire on July 24, is likely to face a split following withdrawal of the ceasefire, a Pakistani paper has reported.

Pakistani weekly The Friday Times, in its latest issue said, “now that the Hizbul Mujahideen has decided to go its own way under (self-styled) commander Majeed Dar, further splits are being feared on both sides.”

In an article, the paper said: “Dar was able to announce the ceasefire after breaking a number of commanders belonging to the clique of Syed Salahuddin which forced the latter to accept the ceasefire on the pain of being without any following in the outfit.”

The weekly said this has led to speculation in Pakistan that the split among militants was being engineered by the ISI because the Musharraf government wished to bring India under international pressure.

It said after the announcement of the ceasefire, a split had already taken place in the Hizbul Mujahideen when self-styled commander Masood of “Pir Panjal Regiment” declared that he would not abide by the ceasefire and continue to indulge in militant activities.

The weekly said the splits were not surprising and militant outfits operating in Kashmir had seen a number of splits since 1996.

The weekly said neither the split within the rank and file of the Hizbul Mujahideen was new, nor simmering difference between Dar and Salahuddin.

The Friday Times said an early split had taken place in the Hizbul Mujahideen in 1997 between Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri militants.

The split also resulted in a mine explosion at the Kotli camp in occupied Kashmir in which several persons, including Pakistani Army personnel, lost their lives.

Later in 1998, another split took place in the militant outfit when Bakht Zamin formed his own outfit “Al-Badr” after breaking away from the Hizbul Mujahideen, despite intervention by the Jamaat-e-Islamia.

The weekly said several splits had taken place in militant outfits like the Harkat-ul-Ansar, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and other radical and fundamentalist outfits.

The weekly said engineered splits dated back to the early 1980’s when Pakistani agencies caused a split in several Afghan militant outfits to have a better control over them.

It said Pakistan was trying the same experiment in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today said the All-party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) umbrella organisation was “unsuitable” to mediate the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan.

“A mediator has to be impartial and not a party to the dispute itself. The APHC fulfils neither condition, JKLF’s Amanullah Khan said in a statement here.


Kumaramangalam in critical condition
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Aug 20 — The condition of Union Power Minister Rangarajan P. Kumaramangalam continued to remain critical today with a team of doctors closely monitoring him.

A medical bulletin issued by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he has been lying in a state of coma said, “the life support systems, including dialysis, are continuing, his blood pressure is still unstable”. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to see his ailing Cabinet colleague.

Mr Vajpayee, who spent about 30 minutes in the hospital, spoke to the family members and the doctors and inquired about Mr Kumaramangalam’s health.

This is the second time the Prime Minister visited the AIIMS to see Mr Kumaramangalam who was admitted to the hospital on August 12.

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