Islamabad: Ilyas Kashmiri, a militant
commander who fought in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1990s and is
believed to have been killed in a recent US drone attack, was
once rewarded by Pervez Musharraf for "slitting the throat" of
an Indian Army officer in 2000, a media report said on Sunday.
Kashmiri, a commander of the Harkat-ul-Jehad
al-Islami, was reportedly killed in a drone attack in North
Waziristan last week.
He also served in the elite Special Service Group, a
commando unit of the Pakistan Army, and was deputed by the
military to train Afghan mujahideen fighting the Russian Army
in Afghanistan in the mid-1980s, The News daily reported.
On February 26, 2000, Kashmiri reportedly conducted a
guerrilla operation against the Indian Army in Nakyal sector
after crossing the LoC with 25 militants. He surrounded a
bunker and threw grenades inside.
"He was able to kidnap an injured Indian officer whose
throat he later slit, the report said. Kashmiri came back to
Pakistan with the head of the Indian officer and presented it
to top Army officials, including then army chief gen
Musharraf, who gave him a cash award of Rs 1 lakh," the report
Pictures of Kashmiri with the head of the dead Indian
officer in his hands were published in some Pakistani
newspapers and he became very important among militants, the
Maulana Zahoor Ahmad Alvi of Jamia Muhammadia in
Islamabad even issued a fatwa in support of slitting the
throats of Indian Army officers.
These incidents occurred at a time when the then Corps
Commander in Rawalpindi, lt gen Mehmood Ahmad, visited
Kashmiri`s militant training camp at Kotli and "appreciated
his frequent guerrilla actions against the Indian Army", the
A resident of Kotli area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,
he was an expert in mines and lost an eye during the jehad in
After the withdrawal of the Russian Army from
Afghanistan, Kashmiri was asked by the Pakistani establishment
to work with Kashmiri militants.
He joined the Kashmir chapter of Harkat-ul-Jehad
al-Islami in 1991. After a few years, he developed
differences with HuJI chief Qari Saifullah Akhtar and created
his own `313 Brigade`.
He was once arrested by the Indian Army in Poonch area
and held in various jails for two years before he escaped by
breaking out of prison.
During tensions along the Line of Control in 1998,
Kashmiri was given the task of attacking Indian forces and
carried out assaults "many times", the report said.
Kashmiri`s honeymoon with the Pakistan Army Generals
reportedly ended after the creation of Jaish-e-Mohammed. Gen
Ahmad wanted Kashmiri to join the JeM and accept Maulana
Masood Azhar as his leader but he refused to do so.