The head of a regional affiliate of the Islamic State has said militants in Kashmir have pledged allegiance to the group, providing it a “big opportunity” to expand its co-called caliphate to the area.
Hafiz Saeed Khan – who was named the IS chief for Khurasan, the historic name for the area encompassing Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India, almost a year ago – made the claim during an interview to the group’s online magazine Dabiq.
Khan, who has reportedly survived two drone strikes, including one earlier this month, was responding to a question on whether the IS is “capable of expanding to Kashmir to fight the cow-worshipping Hindus” and jihadis from other groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba that are allied to Pakistan.
He accused Pakistan’s army and intelligence set-up of exploiting “various ‘Islamic’ organisations on the issue of Kashmir for their despicable personal interests” and contended there was no one to save the Kashmiri people “from the quagmire into which they were thrown”.
“Because of this, many of the people of Kashmir and the soldiers of the factions left and made hijrah to Wilāyat Khurāsān…Thus, there’s a big opportunity, with Allah’s permission, to establish the religion of Allah there and for the Islamic State to expand to it,” Khan said.
Without giving details, Khan said the IS has made “specific arrangements” in Kashmir and “the Muslims will soon hear pleasant news about the Khilāfah’s expansion to those lands”.
He said “apostate factions and agents of…Pakistan” such as LeT “do not have control over any territory in the regions of Kashmir, because they proceed in accordance with the orders of the Pakistani intelligence”.