Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo Sunday condemned waving of ISIS flags in Kashmir, alleging it was done at the behest of “Indian agencies” to defame the “freedom movement”. 

Naikoo’s audio clip containing his comments in Urdu surfaced on social media in the afternoon and was soon widely circulated over different websites. 

Naikoo’s audio statement appeared to have been motivated by the act of some masked youth waving ISIS flags inside the Jamia Masjid. 

He also urged militants’ families not to allow PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to visit their houses. “Choose once for all whether you want to be counted among the heirs of martyrs or you want to be seen as traitors,” Naikoo says in the audio clip released over social media on Sunday.

It comes days after the PDP president visited the family of a slain militant in Shopian and that of another civilian under police detention in Pulwama district.

The militant leader then turns to the recent incident of desecration of Jamia Masjid.

Naikoo alleged Daesh or ISIS flags were being waved in Kashmir at the behest of “Indian agencies” to defame the “freedom movement” and “certain gullible though sincere youth are playing into their hands”.

“New Delhi has been always been trying to divide us and now they are doing it under the guise of Islam. We are well aware about people behind waving of Daesh flags in Kashmir. They are neither well-wishers of Islam nor support the freedom movement, but are doing this with a design,” Naikoo says in the audio clip.

“Being emotional is alright but we have to use our brains too.”

He accuses people who wave ISIS flags of trying to connect Kashmir’s “freedom movement” with “global terror network” and change the “Azadi narrative”.

“When we are alive they call us murtads (apostates), but when we embrace martyrdom they appear in our funerals with flags and then videograph and click pictures of the same and upload on social media to defame our movement.”

The HM commander accused them of dividing militant groups. 

“These very people were instrumental in creating Lashkar-i-Islam only to weaken the armed movement in North Kashmir,” Naikoo said. 

“However, after the martyrdom of QayoomNajar they forgot him altogether. The same people then instigated our brothers whom we had some minor differences with to walk away and form separate armed groups. The truth is these people neither are our friends nor theirs.”

Naikoo also accuses the people who wave ISIS flags of trying to tell the world that the people were not for implementation of UN resolutions which form “the basis” for the struggle in Kashmir.  

“India is well aware that if Kashmir issue is decided according to the aspirations of people they certainly are going to lose, hence they are up to create confusion among us,” Naikoo says, and continues to castigate them.

He said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was trying to unite the people for the cause but “these people with vested interests want to break us.”

On Friday, masked youth suddenly appeared on the pulpit of Jamia Masjid and waved black flags. 

The act was vehemently condemned by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik who cautioned youth of ‘the ploy aimed at weakening resistance movement’.

The JRL leadership also said the “anti-Islamic” act was done on behest of “Indian agencies”.

Referring to Mufti’s visits to houses of militants which evoked criticism from her archrival National Conference, Naikoo says Mufti was enacting “the drama to garner people’s sympathy as elections were nearing”. 

“Today, out of power she (Mufti) says police get directions from somewhere to harass families of militants. I ask her where not they harassed during your stint in the government. Where did the directions come from then?” Naikoo asks.

“Did not civilian killings occur during your tenure?”

In his detailed audio statement Naikoo recalled Mufti’s various statements as chief minister.

“Is she not the same lady who in order to appease New Delhi and rightwing BJP used to say the weapons forces have been armed with were not for mere display?” the HM militant leader asks.

“Is she (Mufti) not the one who used to say the children who were killed and maimed had not gone to fetch milk and toffee?” 

Accusing Mufti of shedding “crocodile tears” Naikoo says she spoke one language in Delhi and another in Kashmir for her “lust for power”. 

“They (mainstream politicians) have been doing so since 1947 and unfortunately we haven’t learned lessons and fall in their trap easily.”

The HM leader also recalled Mufti’s campaign claims prior to 2014 elections to corner her.

“She (Mehbooba) sought votes from people to keep RSS at bay but then joined hands with the same people and strengthened their roots here,” Naikoo said. “So, I appeal to the people and families of militants to shut their doors on her”.