Kashmiri ultras praise Taliban, rubbish Pak

SRINAGAR: In a momentous ideological drift in Kashmir’s decades-old militancy, a group of armed militants have said they will fight in India as well as in Pakistan to “establish the rule of Islam” as they praised the Taliban movement.

editorial@tribune.com

Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 8

In a momentous ideological drift in Kashmir’s decades-old militancy, a group of armed militants have said they will fight in India as well as in Pakistan to “establish the rule of Islam” as they praised the Taliban movement.

The militants, whose identity is not immediately known, had appeared in south Kashmir’s Karimabad village on Friday and addressed a group of locals.

An unidentified militant speaker continued with the already emerging trajectory of overt pan-Islamism that has been in recent years detailed by three militant commanders — Burhan Wani, Zakir Musa and Yaseen Itoo — who had vowed to fight for the establishment of Islamic rule in Kashmir.

The militant at Karimabad, however, spoke in more elaborate terms as he rejected waving of Pakistani flag and justified Taliban’s war against Pakistan state.

“Listen carefully,” he said, “This war is for Shariyat (Islam’s rule) or Shahadat (martyrdom). Pakistani flag is not part of Shariyat … why do you wave Pakistani flag? Anyone who waves Pakistan flag will be our enemy,” the militant said, his speech recorded in a video on mobile phone camera that later went viral on social media sites.

The slogan of “Shariyat ya Shahadat” — Islamic rule or martyrdom — is the hallmark of global militant groups who reject the idea of nation-states and fight for the cause of establishing a caliphate. The speech is the latest in a growing chatter of local militant voices who are shunning ideological affiliation with Pakistan and, instead, openly advocating a global militant ideology that is espoused by the Al-Qaida.

The militant also asked the crowd to raise pro-Taliban slogans. “Why I asked you to shout Taliban’s slogan because Taliban wants Islamic system in Pakistan. We should have love for the Taliban,” he said, adding that only “Islam’s black flag” should be raised in Kashmir.

The United Jehad Council, a conglomerate of militant outfits based in Pakistan, was rattled by the speech and quickly disassociated itself from the militant’s speech. In a statement, it said the conglomerate has identified the gunmen and described the speech as “anti-Islamic act”.

A local said the militant speaker was part of the six-member group who appeared in Karimabad last evening when the villagers were commemorating the anniversary of cop-turned-militant Naseer Pandit, who was killed last year.

In the speech, the unidentified militant said they were not fighting on behalf of any organisation “or Pakistan”. “We are (fighting) for Islam’s system in Kashmir, not for any organisation or Pakistan,” the militant said.

“We have to go to India also to implement Islam’s rule there. There is no Islamic system in Pakistan and we have to implement Islamic system there also,” he said.

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