Mushtaq Zargar, released in 1999 Kandahar hijacking, may be behind Anantnag attack: Intelligence agencies
Zargar was released along with Jaish chief Masood Azhar and another terrorist Umar Sheikh in exchange for passengers of Indian Airlines flight IC 814, which was hijacked in 1999.
Intelligence agencies suspect that Pakistani terrorist Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar was the mastermind of Wednesday's terror attack on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag. Zargar is the head of Pakistan-based terror group Al Umar Mujahideen, which had taken responsibility for the cowardly attack. The fidayeen attack had resulted in the death of five CRPF personnel and left three jawans of Jammu and Kashmir police injured.
Intelligence agencies are of the view that Zargar has masterminded the attack with the help of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. A senior intelligence officer said that Al Umar Mujahideen's network in Jammu and Kashmir is very weak and it is possible that Zargar has taken the help of JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen to execute the plan.
Intelligence agencies believe that Zargar has been involved in giving training to terrorists at JeM's terror camps in Balakot. Indian Air Force had rained bombs at the same camp after the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14, 2019, in which at least 40 security personnel were killed.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday said that the Anantnag attack was carried out at the behest of Pakistan. "Yesterday's fidayeen attack was carried out on Pakistan's directions," said Malik while speaking at an event organised by a private varsity at Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on Thursday. "Whenever there is peace in the Valley, Pakistan tries to deteriorate the situation by resorting to fidayeen attacks," he added.
The fidayeen attack in Anantnag comes days before of the annual Amarnath yatra to the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, which is set to commence on July 1. Pilgrims travelling to the cave shrine have to pass through the stretch of the road where Wednesday's attack took place.