Story of Musharraf's 'blue eyed boy' who turned 'most dangerous' Qaeda commander

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Islamabad, Sep.20 (ANI): Senior Al-Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reportedly killed in a US drone attack in North Waziristan earlier this month, was once considered former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's 'blue eyed boy'.

Kashmiri, who was recently named the fourth most wanted terrorist by Pakistan's Interior Ministry, belonged to Pakistan occupied Kashmir's (PoK) Kotli region and was a former commando in the Pakistani Army.

The one-eyed Army commander whom the US officials considered as one of l Qaeda's 'most dangerous commanders' was deputed by the Pakistan Army to train the Afghan Mujahideens fighting against the Russians in mid-80s.

According to The News, in 2000 the then Army Chief Musharraf had rewarded Kashmiri after the latter presented his senior most official the head of a dead Indian Army officer.

According to officials, Kashmiri was the operational commander of the Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HuJI), a terrorist group having links with Al Qaeda which operates in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

However, Kashmiri turned against the Pakistan following the formation of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM).

"His honeymoon with the Pakistan Army generals was over after the creation of Jaish-e-Muhammad. General Mehmood wanted Ilyas Kashmiri to join JeM and accept Maulana Masood Azhar as his leader but the one eyed militant refused to do so," the newspaper reported.

According to it, the Lal Masjid operation in July 2007, had a great impact on Kashmiri and he reorganized his group and joined hands with the Taliban. He also persuaded several officials of the Pakistan Army to join his brigade.

In 2008, Kashmiri also planned to assassinate Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kiyani, but his operation was called-off at the last moment after Al Qaeda's senior leadership interfered. (ANI)

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