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Hizb expels three top commanders

May 05, 2002

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MUZAFFARABAD, May 4: Kashmir’s dominant fighter group, Hizbul Mujahideen, on saturday expelled its three top former commanders for being “defiant as well as inconsistent with the ideology and policies of the group.”

“Abdul Majid Dar, Asad Yazdani and Zafar Abdul Fateh are ousted from Hizbul Mujahideen for their thoughts and actions in contradiction with the organisational polices and disobedience,” said a statement issued by Hizb spokesman Salim Hashmi.

The decision, according to the statement, was taken by the group’s powerful Command Council which held an exclusive meeting here to discuss policy matters, operational strategy and other related issues.

The meeting was presided over by the group’s supreme commander, Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the Mutahidda Jihad Council — the 15-party alliance of the Kashmiri Mujahideen groups fighting Indian rule in held Kashmir.

Abdul Majid Dar was appointed Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief commander in occupied Kashmir on June 7, 2000, and was replaced by another commander, Saiful Islam, on October 26, 2001.

He shot to fame when he declared a 3-month unilateral cease-fire against the Indian troops in the troubled Himalayan region on July 24, 2000. The move even took the Azad Kashmir-based Hizb leaders by surprise, but they endorsed it immediately notwithstanding strong opposition by almost all other Mujahideen groups.

The truce offer was, however, withdrawn after 15 days on August 8, 2000, as India refused to accept Hizb’s demands that talks (on Kashmir) should be unconditional and tripartite, involving Islamabad, New Delhi and the Kashmiris.

The other two, Yazdani and Fateh, were the divisional commanders of the group for southern and central parts of Kashmir, respectively.

Yazdani was also spokesman for some time, but both were relieved of their responsibilities along with Dar in October last year.

“From now onwards, Dar, Yazdani and Fateh have no affiliation or link with the Hizbul Mujahideen and (therefore) none of their actions or moves can be attributed to this organization,” the statement said.

The Command Council, said the statement, expressed satisfaction over the target-oriented actions of the Mujahideen in the held territory and reiterated its resolve to carry on jihad till the goal of freedom (from India) was achieved.

It paid tribute to the valiant people of Kashmir for braving Indian atrocities which were unparalleled in the modern history and also appreciated the political, moral and diplomatic support by Pakistan to the freedom seeking Kashmiris, expressing the hope that this cooperation would continue “at all costs and in all times.”

“The Hizbul Mujahideen also calls upon the international community to intervene in Kashmir for the sake of global peace and resolve this issue in accordance with the United Nations resolutions at the earliest,” the statement said.