SRINAGAR: PoK-based Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Sallahuddin has said Pakistan’s “weak policies” have given India the upper hand on Kashmir, his remark coming within days of Pakistan PM Imran Khan calling India’s response to the Handwara terror attack an indication of “continuing efforts to find a pretext for a false flag operation targeting Pakistan”.
A video purportedly shot during a condolence meeting for slain Hizbul commander Riyaz Naikoo shows Sallahuddin claiming responsibility for the May 3 gun battle at Handwara in north Kashmir, in which a colonel and a major were among six security personnel killed in action. News agency ANI tweeted the video on Saturday.
Hizbul Mujahideen on Sunday nominated Gazi Haider, alias alias “Dr Saifullah”, as the new operational commander of the outfit in Kashmir. He is listed as an A++ category terrorist in intelligence and police dossiers.
Naikoo, a former mathematics teacher who had joined the outfit in 2012, was the outfit’s longest-serving commander in the Valley. He was hunted down by security forces along with an aide in his native Beighpora village of Pulwama district last Wednesday. Naikoo had a Rs 12-lakh bounty on his head.
The same day, the Pakistan PM tweeted: “I have been warning the world about India’s continuing efforts to find a pretext for a false flag operation targeting Pakistan. Latest baseless allegations by India of ‘infiltration’ across LOC are a continuation of this dangerous agenda.”