Group leaves Hizb, forms Pir Panjal Regiment
3 October 2000
The News International
Lahore: Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri Mujahideen organisation that hit the headlines in July through unilateral ceasefire against Indian army, has suffered another setback as one of its most important group of Azad Kashmir based freedom fighters has left it to form another organisation. Pir Panjal Regiment, a strong and active group of Hizb comprising Azad Kashmir volunteers known for its penetrating activities in Jammu and Neelam valley, has now assumed the name of Pir Panjal Mujahedin and allied itself with a newly established political organisation Tehrik-e-Hurriyet-e-Kashmir Pir Panjal, as its combat wing, sources told The News. Led by commander Masoof Sarfraz, Pir Panjal Mujahideen have practically left Hizb a couple of weeks ago but both sides have been delaying formal announcement due to certain reasons, sources added. It is the second dissociation from Hizb within three years. Pir Panjal regiment was the name assumed by Masood Sarfraz for the group he raised from the people of his area a few years ago. The assumption of this name raised many a eyebrows among Hizb and Jamaat-e-Islami, and is believed to be one of the causes of dissociation since Hizb. Besides, other reasons of the dissociation are believed to be some independent combat decisions by Masood Sarfraz against the will of Hizb and Jamaat Islami. Considered one of the key commanders of Hizb, Masood has been managing the activities of Pir Panjal regiment quite independently for the last few years, sources said.