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News updated at 9:29 AM IST

Jaish may exploit sympathy

Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar, Feb 9, 2013, DHNS: 1:16 IST
Jaish-e-Mohammad terror outfit was instrumental in carrying fidayeen attacks in Kashmir.

Jaish was formed by Moulana Masood Azhar in March 2000 from after a split within Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), shortly after his December 1999 release from prision in exchange of passengers of Indian Airlines flight IC 814 which was hijacked and was taken to Kandhar.

Majority of fidayeen attacks in Kashmir were carried out by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), while remainder were the work of the Jaish. Less than two and half months before the fidayeen attack on Parliament, one of the deadliest fidayeen attacks carried on the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly, using a car bomb on 1 October 2001 was handiwork of Jaish. More than 40 people were killed and many more injured in that incident.

However, the graph of Jaish went down after 2004 when Pakistani establishment started a crackdown after it carried an abortive bid to assassinate then Pakistan president and military dictator General Parvez Musharaf. Its Kashmir chief and mastermind of Parliament attack Ghazi Baba was killed in an encounter with the Border Security Force (BSF) in Srinagar on August 30, 2003.

“Given the recent track record of Jaish they have not been able to carry any action in Kashmir as it was being considered as rogue element within Pakistani establishment after they carried fidayeen attacks on Musharaf. However, of late Haqqani network of Taliban has motivated ISI to reactivate Jaish,” a senior intelligence officer wishing anonymity told Deccan Herald.

“Intercepts available with security agencies have revealed that the ISI and Jaish have reached to an agreement that Jaish will operate in Kashmir only and won’t carry any attacks on Pakistani soil,” he said and added while world attention has been focused on the menace of the Taliban in the northwest of Pakistan, Jaish bases in southern Punjab have gone largely unnoticed.

Police sources revealed that there were evidences on ground that Jaish and LeT were planning to operate jointly and share their resources to revive the lethal phase of militancy in Kashmir.

“We fear that Jaish could exploit the sympathy wave in Kashmir which has been generated after Guru’s hanging. Ground is ripe for radicalization and fidayeen attacks in Kashmir,” the sources added.

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