‘Al-Qaeda’ declares war, calls Kashmir ‘gateway of Jihad against India’
8 June 2007
The Daily Excelsior
From Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Srinagar: For the first time in the 18-year-long militancy, Pan-Islamist Al- Qaeda has claimed its base in Jammu & Kashmir with naked condemnation of the separatist Hurriyat Conference as well as Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC) and declared war on the country, calling Kashmir as ‘gateway of Jihad against India’. With the authorities on tenterhooks in the State, Government of India has ordered an investigation to judge authenticity of the explosive Compact Disc (CD) that carried recorded statement of an Urdu speaking masked gunman. Sub-editors of Srinagar-based Kashmir News Service (KNS) told EXCELSIOR that an unidentified stranger delivered an envelop on its Magarmal Bagh office and asked an orderly to pass it on to the editor. It contained a CD besides a 5-page statement in Urdu, purportedly from chief of 'Al-Qaeda Fil Hind' Abu Abdul Rehman Ansari. The statement, read out in Urdu in the CD by a masked gunman, Abu Ibrahim Al-Aasim, lashes out on all factions of the Hurriyat Conference—and more significantly, Muzaffarabad-based alliance of the Kashmiri guerilla outfits, Muttahida Jihad Council— for 'misleading the Kashmiris into the quagmire of UN resolutions and politics of shutdowns and demonstrations'. Calling Kashmir as 'gateway of Jihad against India', Al-Qaeda—India complains that the political and militant leadership had pushed the Kashmiris into a serious confusion about the goal to be achieved in their struggle. It says that the Islamist movements in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia, Phillipnies and Algiers were clearly focussed on 'change in system, erasing the borders and installation of Caliphate'. 'The ongoing armed struggle in Jammu and Kashmir has been transformed into a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan and war of the State interests by the countries under an organised international plot. Some black sheep are also beating the drum of dialogue with the heretic elements and their lackeys. Same people, who, until the other day only, used to euologise the Mujahideen for fighting the occupational forces, have now no hesitaion in saying that the role of the gun was over and it is the turn of the dialogue process'. It said that these elements had surfaced in the shape of different factions of the Hurriyat Conference. According to the statement in Urdu but read out by a man of Kashmiri accent, MJC had also derailed Kashmir’s armed struggle by 'supporting the Hurriyat machinations, implementing the diktats of intelligence agencies, maintaing silence over barbed wire fencing on the borders and diverting the youth from Jihad by way of mental persuation and paying them monthly salaries and other mundane privilges'. According to the statement, America, Israel and some other Western countries were in truck with India on projecting proposals of division of Jammu and Kashmir. Their objective, according to the statement, was to set up military and intelligence bases and strengthen their hegemony in this region. It resolves to 'unmask' the 'enemy within' and educate the people with regard to the plans of Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other political and militant leaders 'so that nobody in Kashmir claims to be the leader of four million people, like Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad'. It threatened to eliminate all elements which surafced as impediments in the Al-Qaeda catharsis. Underscoring the significance of 'Jihad against India', the statement read that prophet Mohammad had declared those people as blessed who launched a war against India. The statement asked the Kashmiris to support the organisation in its drive and claimed that 1,000 copies of the CD had been distributed among Kashmiri Muslims at Friday prayers all over the Valley today. Authorities as well as MJC had dismissed it as a 'mischief' when, by way of a hand out, guerrilla organisation 'Al-Qaeda Kashmir' had announced its existance in Jammu & Kashmir two years back. While DGP and other officials maintained that they were still trying to get facts, reports from New Delhi said that, panicked by television coverage of the Al-Qaeda CD, Union Home Ministry had immediately ordered an investigation to know genuineness of the CD. 'We view such activities and threats as a despearate effort by terrorists and anti- national elements to try and create problems in the country and scare among the people', the spokesman said. Threat to eliminate roadblocks has come with splashing of photographs of different Kashmiri and PoK politicians, mainstream as well as separatist.