Musharraf begins to clean up Pak, LeT HQ shifted to PoK
11 December 2001
The Indian Express
Islamabad: Under growing pressure reportedly from the Musharraf government, Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba has shifted its headquarters from Lahore to Muzafarabad, capital of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Though Lashkar leaders said the organisation office has been shifted as it acquired bigger space in Muzafarabad, observers in Islamabad said the Lashkar decision was evidence of Musharraf''s mounting pressure on jehadi outfits, media reports said. A Lashkar spokesman, meanwhile, said that the group was not going to give up its jihadi struggle in Kashmir. He said the organisation would continue their struggle and no amount of US pressure would stop it from fighting for jihad. But he said Lashkar wanted to avoid a clash with Pakistani government which has been an ardent supporter of all Muslim freedom movements particularly that of Kashmir. However, he said that in the present conditions a clash is possible because of the sudden wedge which has appeared between the interests of Pakistani government and Kashmir mujahideen. Meanwhile, a weekly Independent said that with the retreat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, jihadi groups in Pakistan and PoK were poised to fight on two fronts, the anti-Muslim aggressors and the regime. ''They are more pressed by the Musharraf government that seems to have given in to Washington''s pressure to wind all jihadi groups inside Pakistan,'' it said. Led by Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, a professor of Islamic studies in Lahore engineering college, Lashkar had it headquarters at Murdike near Lahore for several years.