January 2002 News

Lashkar, Jaish to lie low in J&K for now

18 January 2002
The Hindustan Times
Rashid Ahmad

Srinagar: The Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammad have decided to suspend their activities in Jammu and Kashmir for the moment. The two groups are facing a crackdown by the Musharraf government in Pakistan. Sources said the wireless intercepts received by security agencies revealed that both the groups have asked their cadres to restrain their activities for the time being. About 1,000 activists of the two groups a majority of whom are Pakistani nationals are presently active in the Valley and parts of Jammu region. Sources said that most commanders of the two groups have gone underground to escape arrest. The Lashkar and Jaish are being hunted down not only in Pakistan, but also in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The PoK government is reported to have launched a massive campaign against the leaders and cadres of the two outfits. These two outfits emerged on Kashmir''s militant front at a time when most of the local groups began distancing themselves from militancy. The Lashkar infused new spirit among militant ranks by introducing fidayeen (suicide) attacks. The outfit carried over 50 fidayeen attacks on security formations across the state, killing and wounding over 300 security and police personnel. Though Kashmiri groups have been kept out of the crackdown, the leaders and commanders of these groups are reported to have restricted their movement in Muzzafarabad (PoK). Their unit offices have already been closed in Pakistan and all of them have been asked to leave the country. They have also been asked not to issue any statement against India in Pakistan.


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