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IS has failed to find ground in J&K

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New Delhi, The Islamic State (IS) terror group had announced in May that it has established its first ‘province’ in Jammu and Kashmir, calling it the ‘Wilayah of Hind’.


It made the claim after an encounter in Kashmir, in which one terrorist killed was believed to be an IS sympathizer.


Over five months from the time of the claim, there was still no evidence of the Sunni jihadi group establishing any foothold in Jammu and Kashmir.


Officials in the Army have explained that it was because the brand of Islam espoused by the IS that does not inspire Kashmiris and secondly, Pakistan, which is the sole propagator and supporter of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, does not patronize the terror outfit.


The IS claims religious authority over all practitioners of Islam by calling itself a Caliphate.


"The IS never found any traction in Jammu and Kashmir," an Army official said.


He elaborated that Kashmiris do not find consonance with the violent brand of Islam propounded by the IS as they believe in a very nuanced version of Islam and are mostly believers of the Sufi ideology.


"Kashmiris are witness to the chaos IS has created in other parts of Asia," and hence kept distance from the terror outfit as it showed its true colours, the official said.


Another major factor for the IS not being able to find a foothold in Jammu and Kashmir is that Pakistan does not support this terror outfit. In Jammu and Kashmir, no terror outfit can survive without Pakistan’s active support, logistical and financial.


To highlight this fact, the Army official referred to Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which was initially propped up by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and then left in the lurch as it propounded the cause of eindependence’ of Jammu and Kashmir and not merger with Pakistan, like other terror outfits, including the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.


The JKLF, which began as a militant group in the 1988, has been reduced to a political entity since the mid-90s with one of its founders, Yasin Malik, now jailed in Tihar in a terror-funding case.


"JKLF was supported by Pakistan for building a pro-independence movement in Jammu and Kashmir. Once that objective was met, Pakistan snuffed the life out of JKLF. In addition, other terror outfits actively resisted the ISIS from building a base in Jammu and Kashmir," said another official.


A source in the Army intelligence said there were attempts by Zakir Musa, who broke away from Hizbul Mujahideen to form the radical Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind after the death of Burhan Wani in 2016, but he too was eliminated in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir in May this year.


"There had been attempts by Musa and his group too to spread a radical and violent form of Islam in the valley," said the source.


Musa’s second-in-command Hamid Lelhari, who was carrying forward the ideology of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind since May this year was killed in an encounter in Awantipora area of the valley on October 22.


"Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind has been wiped out," Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh said in a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday.



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