May 2002 News

Hizbul unaware of Kashmir realities

5 May 2002
The Pioneer

Srinagar: The confrontation between former Hizbul Mujahideen commanders in Kashmir and the outfit''s PoK-based leadership deepened on Sunday with one of the three expelled leaders Zaffar Abdul Fateh, challenging their decision accusing they had no feel of the ground realities in the State. ''Hizbul is not anybody''s hand-maiden. It is for the people of Kashmir to decide who remains or who is to be expelled from the organisation... They (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir based leaders) have no feel of the ground realities in Kashmir,'' Fateh, former divisional commander of the outfit for Srinagar and Badgam, told a local news agency which was quoted in some local dailies. ''Those who are sitting across (in PoK) cannot claim to be representatives of Kashmir and the organisation as they have no understanding of the ground situation,'' he said. Challenging his expulsion along with Abdul Majid Dar and Asad Yazdani, he said, ''Nobody has a right to take such a decision. Only those people have a right who are representatives of the people and we are among them.'' Hizbul Mujahideen had expelled its three former commanders on Saturday for ''violating'' the outfit''s policies and for their ''defiant attitude.'' Dar, who was the outfit''s operational chief in Jammu and Kashmir, had declared a unilateral three-month ceasefire in August 2000. The ceasefire was called off by the outfit''s supreme commander based in Pakistan, Syed Salahuddin, in less than three weeks but not before Hizbul commanders including Fateh and Yazdani held two rounds of talks with the Government. Differences surfaced soon after between Hizbul Mujahideen leadership in Kashmir and Pakistan with the outfit relieving Dar and his colleagues from important posts. Saiful Islam, who replaced Dar in October last year, is presently leading the Hizbul Mujahideen in the Valley.


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