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Millennium Post

A new chapter

A new chapter

The unrest of July 2016 following the elimination of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani is still quite fresh in the minds of the people of Kashmir. His assassination was a major score for the Indian security forces and next on the list was Zakir Musa, the successor of Burhan Wani woh had links with Al Quaeda. The Jammu and Kashmir police neutralised Musa upon a tip-off by one of his ex-lovers, a common pattern that gets young militants entrapped. While Burhan Wani also propagated Islamic rule in Kashmir while being in concurrence with the pro-Pakistan outfit (militant) Hizbul Mujahideen, Zakir Musa was at rebelling variance from the pro-Pakistan orientation. He split from the outfit primarily over ideological difference: rebelling against HM, he popularised the slogan "Shariyat ya Shahadat" (Islamic rule or Martyrdom) and functioned more as an impediment for pro-Pakistani groups. In the audio messages he circulated, he took objection to calling the separatist movement in Kashmir a political struggle and even threatened to behead Hurriyat leaders, stating that "If Hurriyat has to run its politics it shouldn't be a thorn in our way, otherwise we will chop their heads off. If you will be a thorn in our way, we will leave the infidels and kill you first. They [Hurriyat] are indulging in politics. The Mujahideen's war is only to enforce Shariah". It is this outlook of Zakir Musa that marks him apart from the crop of young local militants in the Valley. While Burhan Wani remained loyal to the pro-Pakistan cause, Zakir Musa not only rebelled, he also questioned the very idea of a nation-state and deemed Pakistan as an enemy too. The legacy of Musa is that he sparked the idea of a pan-Islamist jihad in Kashmir which has been manifested in the form of Ansar ul Gazwat ul Hind and Islamic State of Kashmir. Next on the list is Riyaz Naikoo (carrying a reward of 12 lakh Rupees on his head). Given that Kashmir is infested with militancy, particularly south Kashmir which is the hotbed of indigenous miscreants, and that security forces continue to eliminate them steadfastly, the phenomenon of Zakir Musa reflects a very basic want of Kashmir: a society of their kind, devoid of the murk of politics and interference from alien entities. A constructive way to address this novel issue to reach out to the local Kashmiri and make them feel less alienated.

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