June 1999 News


Dawat Al Irshad is behind Intrusion

4 June 1999
Times of India

KARGIL: About 40 km from Lahore on way to Rawalpindi is a town called Muridke. In November every year, thousands of Islamic fundamentalists gather here to participate in the annual international Ijtema (convention) of the Dawat Al Irshad. The Dawat is the parent body of the Lashkar e Toyba, the militant organisation that has sent in most of the intruders who have occupied Indian territory, besides regular Pakistani soldiers, in this sector as well as Drass and Batalik subsectors.

Intelligence sources said though other organisations such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and Harkat Jehad e Islami are still active in the state, it is the Lashkar which is the mainstay of the insurgents now.

In their convention last year, Hafiz Saeed, chief of the Dawat, and other leaders of the organisation such as Maulana Amir Hamza, had made public their plans to ``capture'' Jammu and Kashmir. Yet, it seems, the Indian authorities took no precautionary measures.

After having been taught about Islamic tenets in hundreds of madarsas that are being run by the Dawat (these are besides those madarsas which are being run by other organisations such as the Jamiat ul Ulemai Islam and Jamaat e Islami), these teenagers are trained in warfare at dozens of training camps being run by the Lashkar in the mountainous terrain near Muzaffarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and at Kunar in Afghanistan.

The Lashkar conducts two kinds of courses - one is known as Daurai Aamma which is of 21 days' duration and the other is Daurai Khassa of three months' duration. While the first course is meant to teach the ideology of Islamic jehad (religous war), the second prepares the inmates in military warfare. That Lashkar gets active support from various Afghan groups is clear from the fact that representatives of Taliban, Ahmad Shah Masood and some other Afghan parties had participated in the Dawat's convention last year.

Army sources say the intruders are carrying light machine guns, an assortment of assault rifles and shoulder fired Stinger missiles which the US had supplied to the Afghan groups. By one estimate, 80 per cent of these missiles were not used in Afghanistan and are now being made use of by the intruders.

The Pakistani Army, the sources say, has been shelling the Indian positions all along the Drass-Kargil-Batalik axis in order to help the intruders move further inside Indian territory.

The Indian defence authorities have, however, not allowed that to happen and in fact have been able to push the intruders back in some areas in Drass subsector.

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