Pakistan condemns killing of Kashmiri terrorist military leader

The government of Pakistan called the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian troops “deplorable and condemnable.” This condemnation highlights Pakistan’s support for terrorist groups throughout the region. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is listed by the US, the European Union, and India as a terrorist organization.

Indian troops killed Wani and two other Hizb-ul-Mujahideen fighters during a raid in a village in Indian Kashmir on July 8. Indian forces surrounded the village after receiving intelligence that one of Wani’s associates was in the village, The Times of India reported.

Wani was a military commander for Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in Kashmir. He was described by the Hindustan Times as “the new face of Kashmiri militancy in virtual world” for his use of social media to recruit new fighters and spread Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s message. His stated goal was to “unfurl the flag of Islam on Delhi’s Red Fort” and called for Kashmiris to wage “holy war.”

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a rebuke of the Indian operation that took out Wani, and described him as a “Kashmiri leader.”

“The extrajudicial killing of Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and scores of other innocent Kashmiris is deplorable and condemnable,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in an official press release. “Such acts are a violation of fundamental human rights of Kashmiris and can not deter the people of Jammu and Kashmir from their demand for the realisation of the right to self determination.”

Pakistan has refused to recognize Jammu and Kashmir as an Indian state and has fomented a jihadist insurgency there since 1989. The Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), the powerful military intelligence wing that secretly directs Pakistan’s foreign policy, has created and supported numerous jihadist groups in Jammu and Kashmir in an effort to separate the state from India.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen ties to international jihad

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is one of the more powerful jihadist insurgent groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir. It has close ties to other Pakistani terror groups that focuses on fighting in Jammu and Kashmir, but also supports al Qaeda and other jihadist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its leader, Syed Salahuddin, operates unfettered inside Pakistan and he and his group are directly supported by the state.

In May 2011, Salahuddin admitted that the Pakistani military allows him to run “hundreds of training camps in the state where we recruit and train the mujahideen.”

Salahuddin is also the chairman of the United Jihad Council, which is supported by the Pakistani military and the ISI as well. The Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, two groups that are on the US and United Nations lists of terror organizations, are similarly part of the United Jihad Council. Salahuddin has close ties to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable front, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and Jaish-e-Mohammed are listed by the US government as terrorist organizations for their involvement in terrorist activities in India and Afghanistan.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chieftain Salahuddin is open about his support for jihadist activities in India and Afghanistan. In July 2012, Salahuddin spoke at a fundraising and recruiting drive for jihad in Afghanistan and India, and said Pakistan is the victim of a US and Israeli conspiracy. At the conference, which was held in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, he stated that his fighters were waging jihad against the US.

“Pakistan is the target of the US-Israeli nexus. Our fighters are defending Pakistan at a time when its geographical boundaries, its security and Islamic identity are at risk,” Salahuddin said. “We are fighting in Kashmir. It doesn’t matter to us if we are labelled terrorists. We are proud to be called terrorists for fighting the US and its allies in Afghanistan.”

The Pakistani government refuses to act against Salahuddin and other terrorist leaders, despite their direct involvement in terrorist activities.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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27 Comments

  • Mike Smith says:

    You can’t count on Pakistanis for much, but you can always count on them to support terrorists, mass murderers, and child rapists.

    • Charu says:

      Just support? They undertook state-sponsored genocide, not a term used lightly, of their own citizens in the former East Pakistan in the ’70s for which not one of their generals or officers involved ever faced trial. There are few countries in the world that can match Pakistan’s rogue outlaw record during its relatively brief existence; WMD proliferator, state-sponsor of international terrorism, genocide (which continues to take place in Baluchistan today), ethnic cleansing (previously its remaining Hindus and Sikhs and today its Hazara, Ahmaddiyas and Shia minorities), etc. There’s nothing like being a major non-NATO ally to brush away all sins!

  • Beth Williamson says:

    Thank you for a great article and raising this important topic which doesn’t get any attention in a very dangerous situation with India and Pakistan both being declared nuclear weapon states. India promised a freedom referendum for Kashmir all the way back in 1947; similar to what UK allowed Scotland to hold. India knows that if they allow the referendum to go ahead, they will lose Kashmir. To keep Kashmir in India, they have sent a million strong military, paramilitary and police forces to Kashmir who have been responsible for 68,000 disappearances, extra judicial killings and hundreds of thousand mass arrest and rapes by their “security forces”. See reports by NGOs, Indian Human Right Organizations and 3rd Party organizations such as HRW and Amnesty Int’l.

    India’s position is that Might makes Right. As a rising economic power, they are betting that they can “bribe” their way to keep having to fulfill their obligations. India promised the security council in 1948 to allow the Kashmiris the right to choose if they want to stay with India or join Pakistan. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 47 on April 21, 1948, after hearing arguments from both India and Pakistan.

    As pointed out by CFR.org: “This resolution called for a plebiscite to be held for Kashmir’s citizens. It also called for observers in Kashmir and an enlargement of the UNCIP’s membership.”

    As a charter member of FDD, I call on India to allow Kashmiris the right to vote as called for by the UN Resolution 47.

    • Simone says:

      I can see ur interest in UN resolution 47 ,but doesnt the resolution says complete withdrawal of Pakistani army from Kashmir is a prerequisite to plebiscite .the resolution text is available on United Nations website incase u want to read it in totality.

    • Andrew says:

      Wow “Beth Williamson” 🙂 that reads almost like a press release by the Pakistani ISI.

      You conveniently omit important facts including that the first item on the same UN resolution called for a complete and total withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the whole of Kashmir, something that has not happened to this day. Besides any 70 year old resolutions are no longer relevant, especially in the light of the Simla agreement which committed both states to a strictly bilateral framework for Kashmir, and the genocide and ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim populations in Indian Kashmir by Pakistani terrorists.

      The best answer to the rubbish ISI propaganda that you quoted is probably left to Christine Fair of Georgetown University: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aoYNQrOOu0

      • Westwood says:

        Andrew…indeed…Christine Fair and that You Tube video has been a hit…a Pakistanti “Foolbright” scholar getting embarrassed just like this Beth Williamson. It is stunning how many people mention UN resolution 47 and then admit to not having actually read it. But, I blame India as well for a history of terrible public relations and a corrupt Congress Party that screwed up the issue from day 1.

    • Charu says:

      First of all, Pakistan holds about a third of the original Kashmir state (and gave away a portion to China). The referendum promised in 1948 was meant for the entire original territory *after* Pakistan removed its armed jihadists (an early version of the Taliban who currently bedevil our interests in Afghanistan) so that a free and fair referendum could be undertaken. Thus it is interesting that you only call on India to implement UN Resolution 47 in the portion of the original state of Kashmir that it controls; not Pakistan or China.

      Then there is that inconvenient fact that only a small portion of Indian Kashmir in which there is a Muslim majority (in part due to the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims from there), the Kashmir valley, is a hotbed for Pakistani-sponsored jihadi terrorism. Other major regions of Indian Kashmir, where there are sizable numbers of Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists, want nothing to do with the Kashmiri Muslim separatists of the valley because they know all to well that they will suffer that dire fate of the Yazidis and Armenians and other non-Muslims in every Muslim-majority country. As a matter of fact, they needn’t look so far away for an example as to what is in stow for them; Pakistan military’s massacres of Kashmiri Shia populations in the Baltistan and Gilgit regions of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir is well-known, with little outcry from the HRW’s or Amnesty Int’ls or FDDs (?) of the world.

    • sourabh says:

      ” …India promised a freedom referendum for Kashmir all the way back in 1947…”
      I would like to reply to your comment which is also premises of your whole argument. Your careful reading is requested.
      1. Pakistan had captured 1/3rd of Kashmir before this resolution and the promise of referendum is based on certain conditions, such as Pakistan must remove army from their side and plebiscite will be conducted on entire province.
      2. Pakistan, in order to pacify, enemy’s (India’s) enemy (China), gifted a part to China. This area must also be counted while voting.
      3. At the start of Insurgency Kashmiri Terrorists killed and drove away Hindu population of this area (numbering around 500,000) to make this a “pure Muslim” land. They must also be rehabilitated for honest plebiscite.
      Moreover people for Jammu and Kashmir and Leh are to vote (and not just people of Kashmir, the province’s name is “Jammu and Kashmir”). Kashmir is Muslim dominated, while Jammu and Leh are Hindu and Buddhist dominated (they have no problem with people of India). Only Sunni Muslim of Kashmir Valley (not even Shia support this).

      PS: A stone thrower is provided with 500 rupees (~$8) a day for his hard work.

    • Andy Iyer says:

      Beth, you are completely wrong about India promising a referendum to the Kashmiris. Please go back to the events of 1947/48. Post partition, India did not annex Kashmir. India allowed the Maharaja to decide the fate of Kashmir. it was Pakistan that first sent troops into the valley under the guise of tribals. The Maharaja rushed to Delhi which told him that they will intervene only if he acceded to India which he did. The Indian forces pushed back the Pakistan troops from the Valley though other parts were held by the Pakistanis. India took the dispute to the UN Security Council which issued its resolution for holding a referendum in Kashmir under the following conditions:
      1) Pakistanis would first pull back all troops from the territory it captured;
      2) India would then pull back most of its troops, but maintain enough troops in the entire State to maintain peace; and
      3) This condition being satisfied, India would conduct plebiscite.

      Now almost 78 years have passed since this resolution was enected. It was Pakistan that had to make the first move. Let’s now assess what Pakistan has done:
      1) four wars with India;
      2) countless terrorist activities in India and the world;
      3) every terrorist activity globally is somehow linked;
      4) all major terrorists were found hiding in plain sight in Pakistan- Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Mullah Mansour, Khalil Shek Mahmoud; and
      5) Pakistan is the major nuclear proliferator and nuclear thief that has sold nuclear secrets to rogue countries such as Nort Korea, Iran, Libya.
      India today has more Muslims than Pakistan , is a pluralistic society and the largest democracy that has continuously held free elections for the past 78 years. You want to reward a rogue nation? Please read up on the genocide of Bengali Muslims and Balochis.

    • Gaurav Sharma says:

      I am sorry, but your knowledge in this regard is very limited. Holding a referendum as per the UN resolution has a list of pre-requisites such as Pakistan must vacate Jammu & Kashmir so that the state can be brought back to how it initially was, Kashmiri Pandits must be rehabilitated in Kashmir, as they were before the ethnic cleansing took place and so on.

      So, basically, its not for India to take the first step in this regard. The ball is in Pakistan’s court.

      P.S: Amnesty Int’l and NGOs have to run their business. Come, visit India. Visit Jammu & Kashmir for a few days. We will discuss ground realities then.

    • Westwood says:

      @Beth Williamson LOL…you are kidding? What are you some Indophobe/Hinduphobe? Have you actually read UN Resolution 47 ? No…just relying on CFR which is an organization steeped in Hinduphobia and Indophobia. Well, you are obviously paid to spew Pakistani propaganda.

      You should read UN Resolution 47 as you have made a fool of yourself. India could not conduct a plebiscite because it never has controlled the entire former Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. It controls 60%. It is not called “Kashmir” only…there is a reason…it is a multi regional, multi ethnic, multi religious, multi lingual state which you know nothing about.

      The resolution required certain preconditions to be satisfied in sequential order:
      1. Complete Pakistan withdrawal of all of its forces plus the withdrawal of tribal invaders who were not residents of the state.
      2. India withdrawal of the bulk of its forces after Pakistani withdrawal while being allowed to maintain a minimal force for maintaining law and order.
      3. Then UN would administer a plebiscite.

      Pakistan did not comply with the first precondition. Why? Because contrary to your stupid statement Sheikh Abdullah was very popular and it was likely that the state would have voted for India. So, Pakistan decided it was better not to proceed and rather let time pass by during which they have altered the demographics of the state. First, all Hindus and Sikhs were eradicated from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Second, 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus were ethnically cleansed by the Kashmiri Muslims in 1989-1990 supported by Pakistan-backed terrorists.

      Then there is the matter of Pakistan ceding part of its portion of J&K to China so there is a third party involved.

      You are nothing but an anti-Hindu bigot since you speak of human rights but left out any mention of the Kashmiri Hindus or the people of Pakistan occupied J&K that are ruled with an iron fist by the Pakistan Army which has a large presence by the way.

      A million troops? Where did you get that number from? The Indian government has never disclosed how many troops they have present in any part of India. However, the Northern Army for India has a total of 300,000 troops and they are not all in J&K.

      And, if Pakistan is so interested in a plebiscite, why has it not conducted one in its portion of J&K or better yet just freed that territory?

      LOL..you have no answers. You are nothing more than a Pro-Pakistani, anti-India bigot…

  • Sam B says:

    We all know what Pakistan the issue is how can we liberate the region incl. Pakistan’s ordinary peace loving citizens of this menace … It is high time

  • Ghost says:

    Wow… Any terrorist you kill they condemn it. WTF? Are they in bed with all the terrorist.

    • ansar says:

      Burhan was a naive Kashmiri fighting against Indian oppression and genocide.

      In the eyes of US Kashmiri’s he was a hero fighting oppression.

      India has created 100s more Burhan’s.

  • Ghost says:

    Bill I think you should find out the terrorist that they don’t support. That will be much easier. And why have we not declare them state that sponsors terrorist. If this was Iran we would be all up in that ass tapping it. Tehran would have been Rubble.

  • Obeah says:

    “We are fighting Pakistan’s war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support, the war would be fought inside Pakistan”
    — Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Chief Sayeed Salahudeen

    Remarkable how the rhetoric mirrors that of the West regarding Afghanistan et al.

    • ansar says:

      Kashmiri’s by virtue of ethnicity language culture history and GDOGRAPHY has Zero to do with the people of The Ganges (India).

      We are people of the Indus and rightfully belong with the rest of the Indus which is Pakistan.

      If you no nothing about Kashmir atleast be sensitive to the loss of life which has ensued since 1948 by India and no one else.

      Before you say anything I am a Kashmiri and I spit on India.

      • Gaurav Sharma says:

        That is what madarsa education does to human brain!

      • Roy says:

        You can go drown yourself.

      • Westwood says:

        You are a Kashmiri Muslim…got it…not a Kashmiri Hindu or Kashmiri Sikh..or a Hindu from Jammu or a Buddhist from Ladakh…so you do not speak for all people of Jammu & Kashmir…so move to Pakistan occupied J&K if you think it is better there. Who is stopping you?

  • Mike Smith says:

    And, the only thing Pakistan can do is call for a plebiscite to show support for the people of Kashmir to remind everyone forgets what Dr Martin Luther King’s stated: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

    • Westwood says:

      LOL…call for a plebiscite? Sure..one was called for but Pakistan did not comply with the first pre-condition. Complete withdrawal from Jammu & Kashmir…it is not just called Kashmir for a reason. Read UN Resolution 47.

      Also, a plebiscite can only be conducted by India if it controls the entire state which it never has. Pakistan and China also possess territory in J&K.

      Finally…Pakistan should conduct a plebiscite or better yet just free the people of Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir if they are so democratic in their principles…LOL

  • Devesh mishra says:

    Now the whole world can see the real face of pakistan .

  • Justin Moore says:

    The EPICENTER of terrorism is Pakistan. When the next attacks happens in the US and thousands of Americans are killed, then our politicians will wake up and look at Pakistan as an Enemy. All terrorist one way or another have passed through Pakistan… They use us, take our weapons, money and trick us. We are stupid, weak and dumb to fall for that. Pakistan has always played a double game. We need to isolate them, support Afghanistan and India militarily, economically. In the long run, we are better off with Afghanistan and India on our side then the back stab Pakistanis. The only way we will defeat terrorism in that part of the world is we convert Pakistan into another North Korea. I am looking forward to see Bill Roggio and Zalmai Khalizad paint the true picture of these Pakis to the Senate.

  • Singh says:

    The moment Pakistan withdraws its covert support to militancy in Kashmir, the issue is solved.

  • Jack Fredris says:

    Mike:

    There’s nothing new or surprising your assessment of Pakistan’s policy on terrorism in the Indian Subcontinent against India. Having lost to India in three wars, Pakistan’s Military dictator realized that in can’t fight and win in a face to face military confrontation. So, in the late 80s it decided to bleed India by launching a proxy war in J & K. Since then, thousands of people, including our soldiers and civilians, have lost their lives in the valley. Because of this hundreds of thousand of Kasmiri Hindu Pndits have been driven out of the valley and are as refugees in their own country.
    When all this had been going on in India, the Europe and Americans ignored our voice on Pakistan splintered terrorism in Kashmir and in other parts of India. However, America faced the reality and the danger of terrorism when Osama bin Laden carried out terror attacks in New York in which thousands of innocent Americans lost their lives! After this incident, Indians had expected USA to put Pakistan on its watch list as a Country which sponsors terrorism in J&K and in other parts of India. But, America’s toward terrorism has been selective. It has always helped Pakistan in supplying it weapons and huge financial aid which Pakistan’s has always used in funding terrorists running training camps in Pakistan. However, post 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, America has acknowledged Pakistan as a Country sponsoring terrorism in India.

  • Auroman says:

    Some Kashmiris think They can form a Separate country of thier own but its just a dream.
    Pakistan will never let Kashmir Free. if Indian army comes back from Kashmir it won’t take Pakistan to more than a week to occupy whole Kashmir.
    Kashmir can not be freed.

    We have seen the poor condition of Pak Occupied Kashmir. and how Pakistan army crushes the freedom struggle of POK.

    Kashmir is now an Integral Part of India.
    Indian Government should try to liberate POK and China Occupied Kashmir and make Kashnir Complete which is fully Indian.

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