September 2001 News

Burqa creates wedge between local militants and mercenaries

16 September 2001
The Asian Age

New Delhi: The present threat of a little known militant outfit, Lashker-e- Jabbar, to impose a dress code in Jammu and Kashmir has created a wide rift between Kashmiri militants and foreign mercenaries amidst fears that Pakistan''s ISI is attempting to ''Talibanise'' Kashmir. The threat by Lashker-e-Jabbar (JeB) has come in for flak from indigenous militant groups like Hizbul Mujahideen and even several members of Hurriyat Conference, a 23-party conglomerate of separatist and religious groups, has criticised the obscure militant group for ordering a dress code for women in Kashmir. Significantly, the call of LeJ has supporters like Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e- Miliat, which have been attempting to disturb the secular and sufi ethos of the state. According to reports and wireless intercepts, the ISI has impressed upon some of its ''favourite'' organisations to insist only on rule of Islamic Shariat in Kashmir, which they think can help in bolstering the dwindling support to carry out militancy, informed sources said. The intercepts suggest that the next step would be to prevent women from working which would be followed by stopping their parents from imparting education to the fair sex, the sources said.


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