Kashmiri Separatist Group 'disappears' Post Crackdown

13 December 2008
Etalaat News Service

Islamabad: A coalition of Kashmiri jehadi groups led by Syed Salahuddin 'has simply disappeared' in Pakistan following the crackdown on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the UN has declared a terrorist group, a media report said on Saturday. The United Jihad Council (UJC), comprising among others the Hizbul Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Barq, Ikhwan-ul-Mussalmin and Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen, 'has temporarily dissolved itself, closed its offices, removed all signs and asked its leaders to stay quiet', The News said. 'The strategy follows the current Pakistan-India tension following the Mumbai (terrorist strike) and the ban imposed by the UN on several such organisations in Pakistan,' it added. The UN moved Wednesday against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group that New Delhi has blamed for the Nov 26 Mumbai carnage and the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. 'Following the Mumbai attacks and the subsequent tension between Pakistan and India, the United Jihad Council has decided to remain silent,' The News quoted a commander of one UJC affiliate as saying. 'In the current situation, the UJC is maintaining complete silence and has no contact with any Pakistani organisation or institution,' he said. 'The outfits banned in Pakistan, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, have never worked with the UJC nor maintained with it any direct or indirect contact,' he added. The UJC came into existence in 1994 with the amalgamation of several armed organisations. It is headed by Salahuddin of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest group operating in Jammu and Kashmir. The organisation was created 'to unify and focus efforts of various armed resistance groups fighting the Indian rule in Kashmir. This made distribution of resources like arms, ammunition, propaganda materials and communication more streamlined', The News said. 'It also made it easier to coordinate and pool resources of various jehadi groups to collect information, plan operations and strike at targets of military importance in the Kashmir,' it added