7th December 1997
New Delhi: Five Kashmir militant leaders who had once picked up the gun in the Valley against Indian authorities, are now considering joining the Bharatiya Janata Party saying the party alone could safeguard the interests of Muslims, report UNI.
These men belonging to once dreaded, J&K Ikhwan and operating in the Anantnag district of south kashmir, have already met some BJP leaders here and are exploring the possibility of reviving the party in the valley. They also hope to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections in the valley on a BJP ticket.
Hilal Hyder, leader of the rebel outfit which is now supporting security forces against the pro pakistan, Hizbul Mujahideen and similar terrorist groups, said that the present bloodshed in the valley was a result of the "wrong policies of the National Conference over the years."
He said Kashmiris were always in "double mind" and the National Conference leadership never gave them a national feeling. The N.C was fooling people even in the name of autonomy. "We are fighting militancy and we want such a group which can give the Kashmiris a feeling that they are Indian and have nothing to do with Pakistan."
J&K lkhwan, along with another renegade militant outfit, lkhwan-ul-Muslimoon of Kukka Parrey, were instrumental in the smooth conduct of parliamentary and assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir their threats and sway over the area stonewall all attempts by the Hizbul Mujahideen and other pro-Pakistan outfits to torpedo the polls. Kuka Parrey is now an Independent legislator in the state Assembly.
Several renegade militants have blamed Dr. Abdullah for marginalising them. Hilal said the BJP alone would help Kashmiris achieve the desired goal. "Our objectives are similar," he added.
The other militants who also plan to join the BJP are, Nanaji, supreme commander of J&K lkhwan, Naseer Hamid, Nisar Ahmad and Data Bashir. The five attended the National Muslim Youth Conference organised by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha here recently.
The BJP leader, Mr Jagmohan, who was the J&K Governor when militancy was at its peak in the Valley, also attend the conference. welcoming the five militants he said that it was good that misguided youth were now releasing the futility of the gun and were returning to the national mainstream.