April 1999 News


UK authorities order deportation of Pak ultra involved in Kashmir insurgency

27th April 1999
Indian Express
By: Aasha Khosa

NEW DELHI: In what amounts to disapproval of Pakistan backed insurgency in Kashmir, the United Kingdom authorities have recently ordered the deportation of a Pakistani on grounds that he was involved in engineering insurgency in Kashmir. Rejecting the appeal of Shafiq-ur Rehman for stay in the UK, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission has held the Pakistani responsible for ``recruitment of British Muslims to undergo training and in fund-raising for the Mujahideen in Kashmir'' and ordered his deportation ``for his stay is not conducive to public good and for reasons of national security.''

Rehman had come to the UK in 1993 as the member of an Islamic organisation. However, UK intelligence agencies had managed to tap his links with Markaz Dawa al Ershad (MDI), a Lahore-based indoctrination school which has the reputation of producing Islamic terrorists for armed campaigns in Kashmir and several parts of the world.

In the order, the UK Immigration Commission has acknowledged that the MDI- trained militants had grouped under the aegis of the Lashkar-eToiba (LET) and were responsible for killing several civilians and launching a military campaign in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, MDI leader, Mohommad Saeed, had declared jehad against the United States. The verdict vindicates the Indian authorities' stand that insurgency in Kashmir was primarily backed by Pakistan-based Islamic organisations and was not entirely an internal uprising. This is also the first ever stand taken by a British government authority on the nature of armed conflict in Kashmir.

Rehman, the order says, had been raising huge amounts for insurgency campaigns during his stay in the UK. Rehman has himself reportedly confessed to raising funds to the tune of $ 100 per week. He was also involved in the publication of the MDI mouthpiece, which routinely highlights the achievements of various terrorist campaigns the world over and particularly in the Indian sub-continent, the order says.

In its decision on Rehman's appeal, the Commission says, ``His activities directly support terrorism in the Indian sub-continent and are likely to continue unless he is deported''. Holding Rehman responsible for rise in the number of British Muslims who had joined militant training, the Commission held that the return of these youths to the country ``may encourage radicalisation of the British Muslim community''.

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