Majid Darís Hizb Crosses Swords With Salahuddin, May Expel Him
21 January 2003
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: In a bid to scuttle the attempts of ISI in gaining the control of Hizbul Mujahideen, the faction led by Abdul Majid Dar has crossed swords with Pakistan-based Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin as the latter had virtually become a 'stooge' of Islamabadís decision makers. Amidst reports that severe clashes had broken out between supporters of Salahuddin and Dar at Haripur Camp in Pakistan, the Dar faction was now contemplating retaliating in the Valley by expelling Salahuddin from Hizbul Mujahideen. According a Hizb militant, who was arrested at the border recently in north Kashmir, a clash between two groups turned ugly after Salahuddin brought in foreign mercenaries into the camp to beat the loyalists of Dar. The militant revealed that the clash had taken place on January 15 forcing the ISI to shift the Dar loyalists back to Tarbela camp in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The arrested ultra claimed that at least two of Salahuddin men had succumbed to injuries in the clash. ISI had set afoot efforts for reconciliation between the factions led by Dar and Syed Salahuddin, which seemed to have failed so far. Dar group, in order to maintain the Kashmiri character of the group, was likely to soon announce expulsion of Salahuddin and some other leaders besides dissociating itself from the Islamabad-based Command Council. The move to expel Salahuddin was also aimed at establishing complete local control over the outfit besides re-structuring its command council which would be headed by Dar, who was expelled by Islamabad-based Command Council for his 'anti-outfit' activities. Dar-led Hizbul Mujahideen was also reportedly making the move for expulsion of Salahuddin and other leaders as they were 'speaking the language of their masters who had been milking the Kashmir cause for their own benefit.' Refusing to bow to pressure from Pakistan-based Command Council, Dar-led Hizb would also announce that the group controlled by them was the real Hizb and not the one controlled by its leadership across the border, sources said. Dar along with Assad Yazdani and Zaffar Abdul Fateh was expelled by PoK-based Hizbís Central Command Council on May four last year, which was followed by expulsion of two more leaders. The Dar group had made it clear that no one could negate Darís contribution by a mere statement and had challenged the Salahuddinís group to cross over the Line of Control and see for themselves the ground realities in the Valley. The differences had started cropping up between the Valley-based command and Pakistan-based leadership soon after the announcement of July 2000 ceasefire.