Militant among militants: life and times of Qayoom Najar
By Inam ul Rehman
Presented by WahidWani
January 12, 2018 5.54pm in India, Kashmir, Opinion, Pakistan
A picture of a Jammu and Kashmir police poster offering a bounty on Qayoom Najar. The poster caused a major embarrassment to the police as the picture used wasn’t that of Najar but a civilian. (Courtesy: Internet)
When the body of the Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) chief, Abdul Qayoom Najar, was identified, a senior police official tweeted: “very, very smart, extremely smart militant”. These words coming from an adversary makes one think: what was in Najar that separated him from the rest.
In any freedom movement, the natives fight on three fronts—one, against their own people in order to convince them about the futility of slavery; two, against those who want to hijack the movement for their own interests; and, three, against the occupiers. While the last one is an easy fight, fighting against the first two is often a protracting conflict.
The killing of militant commander Najar has to be viewed in all the three aspects. Like most militants, he was ahead of his adversaries, regularly changed his appearance, hardly left any trace, but what separated him from the most was that he never longed for fame. A guerrilla fighter, who had stealth of a leopard and eye of a falcon, he would appear and then disappear for months. For the security and intelligence grid, he was here, there, everywhere, but nowhere to be found. But for the Hurriyat Corporation and the Pakistan-based United Jihad Council, he was an “Indian agent”, “Ikhwani”.
Why is the Hurriyat a corporation?
In 2015, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, leading their own factions of the Hurriyat, along with JKLF chief Yaseen Malik joined hands to form what they call “joint resistance leadership”.
For Geelani, the tehreek in Kashmir is a religious movement. For the Mirwaiz, the tehreek has nothing to do with religion. Both of them, however, are in favour of Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. Malik’s party, on the other hand, stands for independent Kashmir on both sides of the LoC. How do these three unite when their objectives are opposite of each other? If religion is taken out of the equation, how do Geelani and the Mirwaiz reconcile with a person who demands independence of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan? On paper, all three have different ideologies and constitutions. Remember, both the Hurriyats are amalgam of many parties, and with the incorporation of the JKLF, which for years remained aloof from both the factions, it becomes a complete package. It’s akin to the marketing strategy of a multi-product beverage brand—whether you buy their fizzy drink, juices or just water, it’s the brand that gains. Same is the case with the Hurriyat. It wants to take control of every organisation (militant or non-militant) that is working in Kashmir to benefit itself. Remember in May 2017, a sting operation by an Indian news channel showed some members of the Hurriyat demanding money to keep Kashmir on boil. Rs 100 crore for three months, is what a senior Hurriyat leader demanded! The Hurriyat was again diddling with the sacrifices of the people. That is why I prefer to call it the Hurriyat Corporation.
Why did the UJC and Hurriyat Corporation felt threatened by Najar?
When in May 2015, militants started blasting mobile towers in Sopore area, it baffled many. As is usual in Kashmir, the Hurriyat along with its lackeys termed it a conspiracy of the Indian government to “malign the freedom movement”. A new militant organisation, LeI, claimed responsibility, stating that mobile communication was responsible for the killing of many militants. The same month, Geelani along with Malik asked the UJC to reveal the truth about the LeI. The UJC responded to the call and repeated the rhetoric of blaming the Indian agencies.
The character assassination of Najar and his colleagues did not deter him from killing a few Hurriyat activists, claiming that they