Lashkar defies ban, raises funds
26 August 2001
The Indian Express
Islamabad: A DAY after Pakistan authorities halted their crackdown, militant outfits including Lashkar-e-Toiba, resumed their fund collection defying a ban in Sindh province even as President Pervez Musharraf reportedly admitted the failure of his arms recovery campaign. Reports from Lahore said Lashkar started an open fund raising campaign yesterday. Leader of the outfit Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, who conducts Islamic studies at Lahore Engineering College, has constituted small groups consisting of eight militants each to collect funds, a Lashkar spokesman said. Pakistan Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider, however, said the Government is determined to eliminate every kind of terrorism in the country and would not accept any external or internal pressure. The fund raising was relaunched after a meeting of militant groups in Lahore yesterday to discuss the strategy to defy the ban imposed by provincial Sindh administration last week on public fund collection and advertising ‘‘jehad’’ campaign. Police seized over 700 collection boxes placed by militant outfits at public places in a crackdown on August 22. The Government, however, has acknowledged failure on the law and order front. It said the recent drive to recover weapons failed. Pakistan daily The News today quoted Musharraf as officially saying that ‘‘the de- weaponsation campaign has been largely unsuccessful’’.