Hizbul Mujahideen said on Tuesday that they have never targeted Amarnathyatra nor do they plan to attack it. In an audio message released on social media, Hizb operational commander RiyazNaikoo is heard saying, "The claims of director general of police that we are intending to attack Amarnathyatra are baseless. We have nothing to do with the Amarnathpiligrims. They come here to perform their religious duty."
"Our war is not against Amarnathyatris. We are fighting for our rights and against those who forced us to take up arms," Naikoo said. Naikoo said the government of India had always tried to create an impression that there was "terrorism" in Kashmir and "for this reason they propagated through media that Amrnathpiligrimage was not safe".
"Hundreds of people from various states of India are putting up in Kashmir. If the situation is not conducive in Kashmir then how these people live here? If Kashmiris are terrorists how these people return safe to their native places?" Naikoo is heard saying. "Amarnathyatris are our guests and not our target. They could do their pilgrimage without any security," Naikoo said.
Naikoo also said they had no objection to the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley. He, however, said they would never allow the formation of separate residential zones for them.
"They could live the way other minority communities are living at their native places with respect and dignity," he said.
About PDP-BJP break-up, Naikoo said "it was done under a well thought out plan so that PDP could not be held accountable".He said Governor's rule was imposed to "give government forces a free hand".