In a first, Kashmir militant commander details Musharraf’s ‘military betrayal’

Syed Salahuddin, Chief of the United Jihad Council, after attending a meet of militant commanders in October 2007 (Location: not known).

In a first, the chief of Pakistan-administered Kashmir-based militant amalgam, United Jihad Council, Syed Salahuddin, has made the admission about Islamabad “surrendering on militancy front” in this conflict-hit Himalayan region, “which affected the Kashmir’s resistance movement badly” when Pakistan was under the rule of military dictator General Parvez Musharraf.

Salahuddin, who also heads Kashmir’s indigenous militant group Hizb ul Mujahdeen, said they are fighting “a powerful enemy from the world’s point of view”. He was referring to India and said not it only has a strong 14.5 lakh army but nuclear power and other weapons and resources. The Hizb chief, during a speech streamed on Facebook said that the battle is not confined to India only but with New Delhi’s allies– primarily US and Israel– as well.

“And now our battle is not confined to Indian imperialist only. All the world’s ‘Taghooti’ (diabolical) powers are behind India. Be it America or Israeli imperialist. All stand behind India and are providing resources and cooperation (to India). Our battle is with all of them now,” he said during a seminar somewhere in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, also referred as ‘base camp’.

Invoking a verse of the Qur’an, the Hizb chief called ‘Hindu’ and ‘Jew’ enemies of Muslims, saying “our fight is against all of them”. “Israel’s manpower, technology, experts are visible there (apparently India and Jammu and Kashmir). Only two days ago, a large delegation of Israel arrived in India’s Northern Command base in Udhampur (Jammu),” Salahuddin said in the speech which was streamed live on Facebook by a Hizb-linked user.

He claimed both Israel and India are conspiring to crush Kashmir’s resistance movement.

Salahuddin, who was declared a global terrorist by U.S. State Department few months ago, pleaded helplessness before listeners when he made a candid admission of lacking power to fight India and its allies. “But for this, we need to have good power. However, from where will come that? You know well the situation of our base camp,” he said.

The Hizb chief then invoked General Musharraf’s crackdown against the militants– on the directives of United States following 9/11 and invasion of Afghanistan– fighting India.

“I acknowledge that we didn’t stay here by our will but were stopped…Musharraf, despite our protests, took 180 degree turn and surrendered on military front and didn’t hear our hue and cry. Allah is punishing him for that. But our movement suffered uncompensated damage,” Salahuddin said and admitted that Pakistani authorities stopped Kashmiri militants from crossing ceasefire line into Indian-controlled Valley.

“Those mujahideen (militants) who were craving and longing for crossing the border (from Pakistani Kashmir) and had left studies, jobs…everything for leaving in Allah’s path but what will they do now? They were forced (to sit back there).  One who came here as 15-year-old has now turned 32 and got indulged in marital life. New issues sprouted,” the Hizb chief told the audience. “…But we are not at fault,” he added quickly after admitting the fall of “Jihadi structure”.

Salahuddin assailed Musharraf for surrender “despite protests” and said they did whatever they could have done but despite of that the “base camp surrendered on military front”. “He (Musharraf) is responsible for this in front.  We did whatever was to be done. We protested, held pressers, fought…,” he said. The Hizb chief however vows to safeguard the sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris and told the participants to rely seek help from Allah. “If he is not with us, then nothing is with us,” he asserted.