December 2016 News

Burhan Sought Saeed's 'blessings' To Fight 'common Enemy', Reveal Tapes

2 December 2016
Times of India


New Delhi: Days before he was killed in an encounter in Anantnag, Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani had spoken to Lashkare-Taiba chief and 'most wanted' terrorist Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and sought his 'blessings' to fight a 'common enemy'. Wani had reached out to the Pakistan-based outfit for funds and operational coordination with Hizbul Mujahideen. In an audio tape of the conversation between Wani and Pakistan-based Saeed put out by CNN-News 18, Saeed could be heard praising Wani for his 'great work and sacrifices' and offering all help to Hizbul militants fighting for the 'Kashmir cause' and religion. Wani, on the other hand, sounded in awe of Saeed, saying how he was keen to talk to him for long and how, by the grace of god, his wish had finally been granted. It is apparent from the transcript released by the channel that Saeed's call to Wani followed a message sent by the latter, possibly through LeT commander in Kashmir, Abu Dujana. It also showed that Wani was in regular touch with Lashkar cadres based in Jammu and Kashmir, and wanted Hizbul and LeT to put up a united fight. LeT and Hizbul have for long worked with each other in J&K, with their top leadership and patrons based in Pakistan-PoK. Hizbul cadres arrange the logistics and local resources for their LeT counterparts in the state, while LeT has offered support to Hizbul's fight to 'liberate' Kashmir. A senior intelligence officer, when asked to analyse the conversation, told TOI that it pointed to Wani's initiative to reach out to LeT. 'It shows his attempt to project himself as a big Hizbul leader, who is willing to go into any fold,' said the officer. Sources added that in one of their other conversations not yet in the public domain, Wani requested Saeed not to mention to his top leadership, particularly Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin, that he had independently got in touch with him. 'Wani was more into religion-based jihad and believed in khilafat, shahadat and rule of Sharia, rather than fighting purely for the Kashmir cause. There were times he differed with the Hizbul leadership... for instance, Salahuddin and company had disapproved of his plan to kill J&K police personnel. It seems that in conversations with Saeed, he was speaking as Burhan Wani rather than for his outfit,' the intelligence officer told TOI. Though LeT believes in religion-based jihad, Hizbul comprises mostly local J&K leaders who seek to 'free' Kashmir. However, they do end up coordinating with each other on the ground in J&K, said an intelligence functionary. In the tape put out, Saeed tells Wani that he has been following the latter's activities and that he was very happy. 'Your people are living in very difficult conditions. But you don't have to worry. Whatever you need just tell us we are ready for every help,' he tells Wani. Wani tells Saeed that 'the enemy is almost defeated and we have to maintain this'. 'We have to go all out on attacks and shouldn't lose this opportunity. For this, we need ammunition and support from he back. We should work together for this (Hizbul and Lashkar),' he adds.

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