In ideological shift, Kashmir commander says fight ‘exclusively for Islam’

SRINAGAR: A young militant commander based in south Kashmir in a latest video statement has distanced the region’s militant movement from a nationalist cause and instead said that they were fighting for “supremacy of Islam”.

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Azhar Qadri
Tribune News Service
Srinagar, March 15

A young militant commander based in south Kashmir in a latest video statement has distanced the region’s militant movement from a nationalist cause and instead said that they were fighting for “supremacy of Islam”.

The video statement issued by Zakir Rashid Bhat, alias Musa, is the newest indication of a serious ideological drift in the region’s militancy.
In the statement, the bearded militant speaks softly as he advises stone-pelting protesters to “check their intent”. “I ask my stone-pelter brothers not to fall for war of nationalism. I see that many people in Kashmir are engaged in war of nationalism, which is forbidden in Islam,” he said. “Nationalism and democracy are forbidden in Islam,” he added.
Zakir, who became the face of new militants in the region after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani, said the fight should “not be for the sake of Kashmir”. “It should be exclusively for Islam so that shariat is established here,” he added.
It is the most pronounced statement of intent by a militant in the region and is distinct from the separatist rhetoric which describes Kashmir as a “political issue”.

Zakir has also repeated his threat to policemen and urged them “to repent”.

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