New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the aim of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest militant group in the state, was "political" and not Islamist like the Al Qaeda.
"I think we need to understand that the largest militant organisation operating in the valley today is still the Hizbul Mujahideen. It is made up of predominantly Kashmiri youngsters.
"Their aim is political. Their aim is to remove Kashmir as a part of India, and not Zakir Musa's Al Qaeda-driven aim," Abdullah said at a conference here on Kashmir.
He was answering a question about Musa, a former Hizbul militant who has been named head of Al Qaeda's wing in Jammu and Kashmir.
Musa has said the separatist war in Kashmir was not a fight for nationalism but a jihad for the establishment of strict Islamic code in the state.
Abdullah said that painting every gunman in Kashmir with Musa's brush would give "an easy exit to the government of India" from Kashmir.