Jaish-e-Mohammad says jihad will go on against India
13 October 2001
The Indian Express
Islamabad: Kashmiri militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, its assets frozen a day earlier by the United States, denied on Saturday it was a terrorist organisation and vowed to pursue its armed struggle in Kashmir. ''Jihad (holy war) is ordained by Allah, it has never stopped and it will never stop,'' a Jaish-e-Mohammad spokesman told Reuters by telephone from Muzaffarabad. Spokesman Rana Farooq said the group had no links with terrorist groups and its sole mission was to end the ''atrocious'' in Kashmir. ''We are struggling for the Muslims in Kashmir, and this struggle will not stop,'' he added. Jaish-e-Mohammad first claimed and later denied responsibility for this month''s suicide bombing outside the state legislature in Srinagar, in which 38 people were killed. The US Treasury on Friday ordered US financial institutions to freeze the assets of 39 more individuals and businesses thought to have ties to terrorist funding. The list included Jaish-e-Mohammad, described as a pro-Taliban force. A spokesman of the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank, in the port city of Karachi said it had not yet received a request from Washington. ''Upon receiving the request we will act accordingly,'' the spokesman added. The central bank last month advised local banks to freeze the accounts of 22 groups on Washington''s request. Jaish-e- Mohammad was launched by Maulana Masood Azhar, who was released from Kashmir jail in exchange for the hostages aboard a hijacked Indian aircraft in December 1999 and is known to be a strong backer of Afghanistan''s ruling Taliban. The Taliban are being bombarded in intense US-led attacks for the protection they are giving to Saudi- born militant Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the deadly September 11 attacks on the United States.