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Burhan Wani’s Call to Hafiz Saeed: Is the Martyr now a Terrorist?

For a number of Kashmiris, Burhan Wani and Hafiz Saeed’s fight for an ‘azad’ Kashmir is legitimate.

Updated
India
3 min read
Burhan Wani’s Call to Hafiz Saeed: Is the Martyr now a Terrorist?
I have nothing to say about what my son did. India thinks Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist but I don’t know who he is. My son chose a path and did whatever was required. My son achieved martyrdom.
Muzzaffar Wani, Burhan Wani’s father

It isn’t just Wani’s father. This is the general feeling among a number of Kashmiris. The Indian government feels that the release of an audio conversation between Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, just days before the former’s death, will reaffirm to the people that Wani was a terrorist. But such audio tapes may not change how Kashmiris feel about Wani, the ‘martyr’.

For the people of Kashmir, Burhan Wani was a martyr and will continue to be so. Rather, this tape will help the successor of Wani, Zakir Mussa, to establish contact with Saeed and take his assistance.
Senior Officer, Jammu and Kashmir Police

In the conversation, Wani sought Saeed’s 'blessings' and offered to put up a united LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen front in their jihad against India.

According to sources, the conversation between the two was intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies.

Though the recorded conversation has not been verified, Wani is heard requesting Saeed to extend more support to LeT terrorists in the Kashmir valley in the form of arms, ammunition and money.

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Do Kashmiris See Hafiz Saeed as a Terrorist?

On 22nd July, Hafiz Saeed revealed in a public rally that he had contact with Wani, who was killed in an operation carried out by Indian security forces.

In the recorded conversation intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies, Saeed is heard assuring Wani assistance in the latter’s mission.

You people are living in very difficult conditions. But you don’t have to worry. Whatever you need, just tell us, we are ready to help. We will be ready for anything. You just have to tell us. 

Wani, in turn, extends his support to Saeed and expresses his gratitude.

Inshallah, we will do everything. God has accepted my wish and with his blessings, little people like me are also talking to you. 

According to some experts and analysts, in the eyes of a number of Kashmiris, both Wani and Saeed are fighting for a cause that they believe in – the freedom of Kashmir. So this recorded conversation is unlikely to make an impact on them.

They don’t see Hafiz Saeed in the light of the Mumbai attacks. They see him as someone who is helping them in the struggle against injustice by security forces. A large number of people believe in ‘azadi’ for Kashmir. Overall, the tape will not make much difference in the minds of Kashmiris.
David Devadas, Writer and Expert on Kashmir

According to experts, most Kashmiris see the struggle for ‘azadi’ as legitimate.

Those who want freedom for Kashmir, to them Burhan Wani, Saeed, JKLF and Hurriyat leaders, all of them are one. For people here, all of them are fighting a jihad. This tape will not change the perception of Kashmiris; Wani will continue to be a martyr for them.
Ahmad Ali Faayaz, Senior Journalist

The unrest in the valley continues even four months after Wani’s death. This recording is unlikely to destroy his image in the minds of Kashmiris. If the government leaked this audio tape with the intention of reaffirming that Wani was indeed a terrorist, the plan may not work in Kashmir.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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