‘Struggle for freedom a local movement… no link with global movements’
Three separatist leaders in the Kashmir valley, who refer to themselves as ‘joint resistance leadership’, on Monday said the region’s separatist movement was indigenous and it had nothing to do with “global (jihadi) movements”.
Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik issued a joint statement denouncing any attempt to change the “dimension” of Kashmir’s separatism and termed it as a conspiracy of intelligence agencies.
The three separatist leaders spoke against the changing character of Kashmir’s separatism at a time when several militants have vowed to fight for an Islamist cause, espoused by global militant movements like Al-Qaida.
In recent weeks, several militants, including the south Kashmir-based commander Zakir Musa, have issued statements in which they have denounced fighting for a nationalist cause and vowed that they were fighting for Islam. Another militant disapproved waving Pakistan flags and instead asked a gathering of people to wave Islamist black flags. Like in the past, the separatist leaders are conveniently blaming the forms of dissent within the separatist camp as part of a plan of intelligence agencies. In 2015, the separatist group led by Geelani had initially blamed intelligence agencies for attacking the telecom sector but the Hizbul Mujahideen had later acknowledged that one of its rebel commanders was behind the attacks. Even as the latest statement from Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik had all indications of being a reaction to the changing patterns of the militant ideology in the region, the separatists have tried to steer clear of naming or blaming the militants. The three separatist leaders in a detailed statement said that “the struggle for freedom is a local movement and its first and last goal is to end India’s forcible occupation”. “It has no other dimension and it has nothing to do with global movements,” the separatist trio said.
The separatists said that intelligence agencies were attempting to defame Kashmir’s separatist movement and had devised a “dangerous plan of changing its indigenous character”.
They said organisations “like the ISIS have no role” in the region and appealed to political and militant organisations to isolate those individuals who were being used to promote “India’s plan”.