PoK-based United Jihad Council breaks silence on killing of Adil Dass due to suspected infighting, calls for unity among militant groups

Syed Salahuddin, however, did not acknowledge or attempt to negate the allegations on Adil Ahmad Dass' killing, even as he called for punishing the guilty.

Rayan Naqash June 30, 2019 17:42:03 IST
PoK-based United Jihad Council breaks silence on killing of Adil Dass due to suspected infighting, calls for unity among militant groups
  • The Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir-based leadership of the militancy broke its silence on the killing of Adil Ahmad Dass on 29 June.

  • Syed Salahuddin termed the incident as 'extremely distressing' for the people of Kashmir and the 'jihadi leadership and mujahideen'.

  • Salahuddin's appearance in the video statement is an indicator of the gravity of the situation.

Three days after a militant was killed in an apparent incident of infighting, the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir-based leadership of the militancy broke its silence in a video statement issued on 29 June.

Mohammad Yusuf Shah, better known as Syed Salahuddin, the Muzaffarabad-based chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the head of the militant conglomerate United Jihad Council, termed the incident as “extremely distressing” for the people of Kashmir and the “jihadi leadership and mujahideen”.

PoKbased United Jihad Council breaks silence on killing of Adil Dass due to suspected infighting calls for unity among militant groups

File image of Syed Salahuddin. News18

Appealing for mutual trust and unity among the ranks of the separatists and the “jihadis” under all circumstances and “at all costs”, Salahuddin asked the “jihadi leadership in the field of battle to jointly and impartially investigate the incident and award exemplary punishment to whosoever found involved”.

The killing of the militant by rival militant outfits raised eyebrows as the Valley-based leadership of the Hizbul Mujahideen (the largest militant outfit, and one that is seen as the only indigenous outfit operating) and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, both allegedly involved in the incident, maintained silence over it. Salahuddin's appearance in the video statement is an indicator of the gravity of the situation.

On the evening of 26 June, a militant, Adil Dass, was killed in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district when, apparently, a negotiation for the return of his weapon failed. Dass had joined the pro-Pakistan Lashkar-e-Taiba in July 2018 before defecting to a shadowy outfit that has pledged its allegiance to the global jihadist outfit, the Islamic State.

The outfit, in a video statement by one of its militants, had alleged that Adil was killed by the militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, who lured Adil by showing a willingness to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State.

Salahuddin, however, in the nearly six minute-long video, did not acknowledge or attempt to negate the allegations, even as he called for punishing the guilty. Salahuddin also called Adil a “shaheed (martyr)”, a term of reference reserved for slain militants and civilians killed by security forces, but avoided naming the outfit that pro-Pakistan elements in Kashmir see as an Indian ploy to derail the separatist movement.

Quoting the Holy Quran, Salahuddin appealed to not let differences take root since all parties opposed to India shared a common religion. “All of us have taken the same path: jihad for the sake of Allah,” he said. “We must respect each others' thoughts and emotions and try to cooperate (with each other)”.

Without mentioning the sustained crackdown by India on the militant outfits operating in Kashmir and the high number of militant casualties in the past two years, Salahuddin said the people of Kashmir and militants in particular were going through “testing times”.

Salahuddin said that there should be no scope for differences in the ranks of separatists. “Our great struggle (for secession) has already suffered irreparable damage (in the past) because of these differences and inteshar (conflict),” he said, warning that once again there were similar “indications of damage beyond measure”.

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