Hizbul Mujahideen Disowns Mast Gul

Hizbul Mujahideen Disowns Mast Gul

26 February 2014
Kashmir Times


Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), the largest indigenous militant group in Kashmir, has disowned Major Mast Gul after his name surfaced in connection with bomb attacks in Pakistan. The group said the militant had quit HM before 2001. Hailing from Pakistan, Mast Gul was an active militants in Kashmir till 1995. He led a group of militants against security forces at Chara-e-Sharief. The Charar-e-Sharief shrine was gutted during a military operation against militants in May 1995. Hundreds of residential houses were also damaged during the incident. The security forces blamed Mast Gul and his associates for burning the shrine and escaping. However, the militants put the blame on Indian forces. After the Charar-e-Sharief encounter Mast Gul reached Pakistan and lied low following an attack on his vehicle by some unidentified persons. Recently, Mast Gul along with another commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban addressed media persons at Miramshah in Pakistan and owned responsibility for a bombing attacks in their country. Hizbul Mujahideen has said linking a ‘militant commander’ from a tribal area with it, is an attempt to tarnish its image. “Attempts to affiliate someone claiming responsibility for bomb blasts in Pakistan with Hizbul Mujahideen to dent its credibility are upsetting and painful,” said the militant group in a brief statement in Muzaffarabad. Reports said an earlier statement of the group mentioned Mast Gul by name, while recalling that he had quit Hizbul Mujahideen before 2001. However, in a revised statement, his name was taken off. HM added that it deemed any militant activity within Pakistan “nefarious and against the tenets of Islam”. “Hizbul Mujahideen is an indigenous freedom fighter group of India-held Jammu and Kashmir and it is also a historical fact that the Kashmiris hold Pakistan dearer than their lives,” it said. “Let it be clear that the leadership and cadres of Hizbul Mujahideen are fighting Indian occupation forces and their resistance movement is restricted to held Kashmir,” said the statement. It paid tribute to the leadership and public of Pakistan for their deep concern and moral, diplomatic and political support for the cause of struggling Kashmiris. “Kashmiri people and fighters are also prayerful for the safety of the people of Pakistan and stability of their country.”