Action against Jaish: US has fired a blank, smirks Valley
14 October 2001
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Even as India celebrates the US sanctions against the Jaish-e- Mohammad, jehadis have been smirking, secure in the knowledge that the stricture means nothing to the pan-Islamic movement in Kashmir. The Jaish, which enjoys close links with the Taliban, has little ground presence in Kashmir. It was launched in May 2000 and, despite relentless efforts by founder Maulana Masood Azhar, has had to depend on the Harkat cadre who joined it in the Valley. Sources say that militant outfits — even those based in Pakistan — usually don’t have any assets registered in their name or in the name of their leadership. In fact, all the outfits have parent organisations. Assets of the Harkat and Jaish are entirely the property of the Jamiat-e-Ulemai-Islam, which has the status of a mainstream political party in Pakistan. In the same way, the channels of funding too are very complex and cannot be dried up by simply ordering a freeze. Intelligence sources believe that the US-led alliance’s freeze on funding will only help to seal some funding channels of al-Qaeda who run businesses and have an international presence. ‘‘Groups like Jaish and Lashkar generally run on donations from rich Gulf and Saudis or on Pak Government’s support,’’ said one officer, who had worked on the issue of cross-border funding to militants in Kashmir. ‘‘The militant groups generally get their arms and ammunition from (Pakistani) Government sources across the border.’’ They don’t need to purchase it at all from open market. And they manage funds locally, through either consensual donations, extortion or ransom. This is apart from the hawala channel, which is difficult to seal becuase of its complex nature’’.