April 2007 News

Jaish Regrouping: Pak Daily

22 April 2007
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Jaish-e-Mohammad-the jihadi outfit responsible for the hijacking of IC-814 in 1999 to Kandahar, the 13 December 2001 attack on Parliament and two attempts on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's life-is reorganising itself under its new commander Mufti Abdul Rauf. Rauf is the younger brother of Moulana Masood Azhar. The organisation has been banned by Pakistan besides being categorised as an unlawful terrorist group by India and the US. According to a report in Pakistani newspaper Daily Times today, 'Jaish has established a transit camp in Islamabad for its activists coming from southern Punjab and travelling to Kohat where another camp has been established'. The newspaper says the camp in Islamabad is supposed to serve as the base for the organisation's propaganda campaign and distribution of pamphlets in tribal areas. 'Mufti Abdul Rauf is spearheading the reorganisation of JeM who had appeared on the scene after Moulana Masood Azhar went underground following the two suicide attacks on President General Pervez Musharraf,' the paper said quoting sources. Pakistan had banned Jaish in January 2002 soon after the Parliament attack had led to a massive troop mobilisation on either side of the Indo-Pak border. Although Jaish's activities have declined in Kashmir after its commanders were killed in a series of police actions in south Kashmir's Shopian area, its reorganisation inside Pakistan will have serious fallout in the valley. In fact, the outfit's efforts to revive its network in the valley hit a hurdle last week when Sopore police arrested three of its commanders who had been silently reorganising the group in north Kashmir since they returned after graduating from a Surat madrasa in 2004. Jaish appeared over the militancy map of Kashmir soon after a group of Pakistani militants hijacked an Indian Airliner (IC-814) on its way to New Delhi from Kathmandu and diverted it to Kandahar in December 1999 where the then Taliban government supported the act. Moulana Masood Azhar along with British Sheikh Umar Sayeed and a Kashmiri militant leader Al-Umar chief Mushtaq Zargar were flown to Kandahar by the then foreign minister Jaswant Singh and later released in exchange of passengers and crew of the Indian airliner. And soon after his release, Azhar split his group from Harkat-ul- Mujahideen, setting up Jaish-e-Mohammad and vowing to intensify attacks in Kashmir.


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