The joint separatist leadership in Kashmir Monday distanced itself from global jihadi outfits like ISIS and Al Qaeda, saying their “freedom struggle” “is indigenous”.
“The ongoing freedom struggle is indigenous. Terrorism and the freedom movement are poles apart,” the joint leadership of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a statement.
“The Indian agencies are desperate to malign the movement and under a well thought out plan they were drafting policies to bring a bad name to the freedom struggle of Kashmir”, they said.
“Our movement has nothing to do with these world-level groups and practically they are nonexistent in the state. There is no role for these groups in our movement,” they said.
“Authorities in Delhi have now started to play a vicious game under the garb and label of ‘holy war’. It is a ploy to create a wedge between people and bravehearts (militants).”
The statement assumes significance in wake of a recent incident in which some suspected militants asked people not to carry Pakistani flags and instead asked them to hoist black flags, similar to that of the ISIS and Al-Qaeda.