November 2000 News

Clashes between Jamaat, Hizb factions intensify

12 November 2000
The Tribune

New Delhi: In a bid to gain control of training camps in Pakistani-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), clashes between a faction of the Hizbul Mujahideen led by Masood Sarfaraz and the Pakistan based Jamaat-e-Islamia (JI) have intensified leaving scores dead. The clashes saw yet another development with the differences between the Jamaat-e-Islamia and the Mushrraf government coming to fore as Pakistan''s ISI along with Islamabad-loyalist Al-Badr militant group extended support to Sarfaraz during the clashes, media reports from Pakistan said. According to a report published in Urdu daily ''Ausaf'' when armed clashes were going on between groups of the Jamaat and Sarfaraz, Al-Badr chief Bakht Zaman were present with the latter evolving a joint strategy against the formore to gain control of training camps in Kotli of PoK. A recent report in Urdu daily ''Jung'' said ''several(government) agencies were also active in the fight between the two.'' The reason for fighting between the two grew stronger after the Jamaat, at an important meeting, dismissed Sarfaraz from the post of commander of Pir Panjal range of the Hizb. The Jamaat, after ensuring effective takeover of the Hizb command in Pakistan was ''eyeing'' similar takeover of the Hizb in Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports, Sarfaraz had field even on FIR againstPOk based Jamaat Chief AbdulRasheed Turabi and others killing one of his commanders Usman. The report said even rocket firing was exchanged by the two sides. Another in-house journal of Hizb ''Takbeer'' said ''the recent tragedy in Pir Panjal regiment might have various interpretations but the fact is now that(militants) are now busy in dividing camps and their assets.'' The journal said the recent clashes between the two groups were not new and could be termed as beginning point of large-scale destruction. The continued clashes between the two groups are also resulted in wide spred demonstrations in PoK especially after the killing of Raja Mehmood Ahmad, a member of Muslim Conference (Qayyum). Several supporters of the group held a demonstration and shouted slogans ''foreign oppressors leave our Kashmir and heirs of Kshmir are still alive'' and demanded shifting of militant training camps to any isolated place. According to the Journal, the warring factions would now gather their manpower at a mutually agreed destination and division of camps and assets would take place. Howver analysts say Sarfaraz would receive the major chunk of the assets as the ISI is allout to support him and as his instance they have already taken control of the training camps in PoK.


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