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‘We removed the deadlock’: Majid Dar
By Javed Matjee

Srinagar: The Hizbul Mujahideen leadership has replaced its chief commander (operations) in Kashmir, Abdul Majid Dar. Saif-ul-Islam will be the new operations chief. Reports reveal that other top commanders of divisional and district levels are also likely to be replaced shortly. Majid Dar was appointed as chief of operations days before the out fit announced its unilateral ceasefire in June last year. Hizb constitution provides for one-year term of the chief commander. Dar had completed his term and his transfer was expected.

Having started his career as militant in early 1990s, Dar was heading the then Tehreek-e Jehad Islami (TJI), which was later merged with the Hizb. During his tenure as chief commander, Dar introduced the Hizb politically and for the first time the outfit representatives entered into direct talks with government of India. Dar, a teacher by profession, expresses his happiness over the successful completion of his term as the chief commander.

In an interview he said that his appointment as the chief of operations was aimed at announcing the Hizb ceasefire. He said during his tenure a number of unexpected developments took place and the Hizb was in the forefront. "All the developments which have taken place during the past one year were the result of ceasefire announced by the Hizb", Dar said, adding that his posting as chief commander was aimed at removing deadlock on Kashmir. He claimed that he has succeeded in removing the deadlock to a great extent. Mr. Dar viewed that all post ceasefire developments, including the one announced by India, were the result of Hizb announcement of June last year to stop its actions against Indian forces.

Replying to a question Dar said that despite the fact that Mujahideen have made presence of Indian troops in Kashmir almost impossible, still the final resolution has to come through negotiations only. He said that the Indian leadership has also realized that wiping out militancy from Kashmir was not possible for them. He admitted that militants alone couldn’t expel Indian troops from Kashmir but said that their (troops) stay in Kashmir has been made more tough, costly and difficult. When asked if failure on the part of militants to oust Indian troops from Kashmir was not their (Militant’s) defeat Dar shot back and asked was not the failure of Indian troops to eliminate militancy their defeat? The outgoing chief commander denied that graph of Hizb actions had gone down during his tenure, saying that the outfit commanders, in order to minimize the civil loss adopted a new strategy. He denied that he had any differences with his chief Syed Salahuddin. "As a soldier of the outfit I will be always ready to perform any duty assigned to me", he said. Dar also denied the reports that he was going to enter politics.

Asked about his relations as Hizb chief commander, with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), the commander said that his attitude towards the amalgam was always cordial. "However the way Hurriyat leaders themselves expressed different opinions on individual issues, give chances to many people to raise fingers against the APHC", he added. He however clarified that militancy was the basic problem and Hurriyat stand on any issue was not binding on the Hizb. He hinted that Hizb is seriously considering having its own political wing. 

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