Pro-Pak slogans raised during Army tournament in Kashmir

Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar, DHNS: Slogans in favour of Pakistan and Zakir Musa, radical new face of militancy in the Valley, were raised during a cricket tournament organised by the Army in central Kashmir's Budgam district on Saturday.

Reports said that scores of youth, who had come to watch the final match of a cricket tournament organised by Army's 53-Rashtriya Rifles at Sports Stadium Budgam, waved Pakistan flags and shouted slogans in support of the chief of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, Zakir Musa, as the award ceremony was on.

Slogans like "Musa Musa Zakir Musa" were raised as local MLA Agha Rahulla, officials from the district administration and Army officers were distributing prizes to the winning and runner up teams.

This is not the first time that pro-Zakir Musa and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised during an Army sponsored event. Last week, slogans were raised in favour of Musa and Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi when M S Dhoni was the chief guest at an Army tournament in Kunzer area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

Musa, al-Qaeda-appointed head of Kashmir jihad, has been professing an ideology similar to that of the Islamic State (ISIS)-to establish the Shariat or the Islamic law in the state. Musa was a close associate of 21-year-old Burhan Wani, new face of Kashmir militancy who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year.

Musa, who turned a militant after quitting B.Tech course in Chandigarh in 2013, had radical views and made it clear through a video message in which he termed nationalism and democracy "un-Islamic". He also threatened "secular separatist leaders, who are fighting for a political cause, not Islamic cause."

Quits Hizbul

After Musa's controversial statement, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen disassociated itself from the militant commander. On the same day, Musa quit the Hizbul saying he cannot "sacrifice his life for establishment of a secular state."

After quitting Hizbul, Musa, who is said to be operating in upper reaches of south Kashmir's Tral area, appeared at the funeral of some militants during summer. There are several instances of youth waving ISIS and al-Qaida flags and banners of Zakir Musa.

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