US action on Hizb chief dampens Kashmiri separatists’ spirits

Salahuddin’s status now same as that of Osama Bin Laden once upon a time: Pakistan would have to decide if it can afford to treat him as a guest

GN Bureau | June 27, 2017


#Syed Salahuddin   #Hizbul Mujahideen   #Jammu and Kashmir   #Terrorism   #Diplomacy  
Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin
Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin

The USA declaring Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a specially designated global terrorist may not take the sting out of terrorists’ plans in Kashmir immediately but it has given a huge setback to Kashmiri separatists who had always hoped for American intervention in the Indo-Pak standoff on the Kashmir.

Salahuddin, whose real name is Mohammad Sayed Yusuf Shah, was a religious preacher till the late eighties and had even contested the 1987 assembly elections unsuccessfully. The 71-year-old ideologue has been based out of Pakistan right from the day Hizbul Mujahideen came into being as a pro-Pakistan militant outfit comprising Kashmiris in the beginning of the insurgency in the valley. The emergence of Hizb, which launched itself by killing pro-India Kashmiris, had upstaged the pro-freedom Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in the early nineties.

Interestingly, sources say, Salahuddin may not even know how to open fire, for he remains a figurehead for the ISI’s use. He may not even have absolute control on the activities of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir though he sends recorded video edicts to Kashmir for propaganda purposes.

Only yesterday, a video clip in which he was seen exhorting Kashmiris to launch a week-long shutdown to mourn the killings of ‘mujahids’  was circulating on Kashmir’s social media. He was uncomfortable reading from a prepared text with an unidentified bearded man keeping close watch on him.

The US action has dashed the Kashmiri insurgents’ hopes of US mediation. It also serves to project the Kashmir imbroglio as a terrorism issue and not that of a freedom struggle.

Practically, the US declaration means the Trump administration can take strong action against people sending money to Salahuddin or Hizbul Mujahideen and will choke their sources of funds. However, Hizbul was never dependent on expatriates for funds as it was directly funded by the ISI.

But his continued presence in Pakistan as the government’s guest will be hugely embarrassing for Islamabad now. He stands in the same league as Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden once stood.

Meanwhile, Salahuddin’s wife and five children continue to live in their mud house in Soibugh village of Budgam district in central Kashmir. His only daughter is a schoolteacher and the sons are in government service.

Comments

 

Other News

BMC announces Rs 52,619.07 crore budget

Mumbai’s municipal commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal on Saturday announced a Budget of Rs 52,619.07 crore for 2023-2024, an increase of 20.67% over a revised budget estimate of Rs 43607.10 crore for 2022-23. The overall budget size has doubled in five years. In 2017-18

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Budget: Highlights

Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. The highlights of the Budget are as follows: PART A     Per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh in around

Budget presents vision for Amrit Kaal: A blueprint for empowered, inclusive economy

Union Budget 2023-24, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Wednesday, outlined the vision of Amrit Kaal which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy.  “We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions an

Soumya Swaminathan to head M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1.   Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of m

m-Governance: Key to Digital India

The digital revolution is being led by India. Digital governance is a key component of the government's ambition to transform India into a society where everyone has access to the internet. It includes both M-governance and E-governance, which are major methods for the delivery of services via mobile devic

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter