Pak Jihadis to raise funds, ignore order
22 August 2001
The Indian Express
Karachi: PAKISTANI jihadi groups have vowed not to stop collecting funds as ordered by the government. Nor are they in a mood to remove the signboards from public places. However, police said the militant groups were cooperating and many donation boxes had been removed from shops and restaurants around this port city. The order will affect several militant outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Al-Badr, which had previously been allowed to recruit fighters and collect donations publicly. ‘‘Can they stop the people from joining the jihad or donating funds even if they remove signboards and boxes?’’ Harkat-ul-Mujahideen leader Hafiz Idrees asked. ‘‘This is unfortunate as people used to contribute funds voluntarily for jihad. Jaish-e-Mohammad vowed to continue raising funds for its struggle in Kashmir. ‘‘we neither started jihad on the order of the government nor can any ruler ask us to stop it,’’ a spokesman for the group said. Sindh Home Secretary Brigadier Mukhtar Sheikh said he hoped the militant groups would comply with the order. ‘‘I don’t have the details of how many boards and boxes have been removed but I hope all will follow the government’s instructions,’’ he said. Al-badr-Mujahideen, one of the groups fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir, condemned the Sindh government’s ban saying that any such move which harms the ‘‘Kashmir cause’’ will not be accepted by the ‘‘Mujahideen’’. ‘‘I want to make it clear we will not accept such a curb that damages the cause of jihad or harms the Kashmir freedom struggle,’’ Ahmed Hamza, deputy leader of the group, told a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday. He said the groups were not collecting funds at gunpoint and most of the money came as voluntary donations. Hamza said he supported the Pakistani Government’s drive against those elements that were out to harm Pakistan but said the ‘‘jihadi’’ organisations do not fall under that category.