LeT''s parent unit to continue support to J&K militants
5 November 2002
B Muralidhar Reddy
ISLAMABAD: A three-day meeting of the Jamat-al-Daawa, the parent unit of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has resolved to continue to support the militancy in Kashmir and called for the release of the leaders of banned militant outfits in Pakistan. The convention of the Jamat-al-Daawa was held after a gap of two years. After the September 11 attacks on American cities in 2001 and the December 13 Parliament attack, the Markaz Dawa, the organisation led by Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, had been re-christened Jamat-al-Daawa and it announced that the LeT would henceforth confine its activities to Kashmir. At the end of the three-day convention held at Patoki in Punjab, Abdul Rehman Makki, central leader of the Jamat-ud-Dawa, has said that the outfit had resolved to continue ''struggle'' in Kashmir apart from providing material help to Kashmiri Mujahideen and immigrants. The Jamat-ud-Dawa statement has called for the immediate release of Prof. Saeed along with the leaders of another banned militant outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad, Maulana Masood Azhar and Amir Aziz. The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and other religious parties have alleged that FBI officials have picked up Dr. Aziz for his alleged links with the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The statement also called on the Pakistan Government to reject world pressure on the Kashmir issue and wind up U.S. bases in Pakistan. It asked the Government to remove restrictions and ambiguity on the Kashmir issue and refrain from creating hurdles in the path of Kashmiri Mujahideen. It alleged that the present regime in Pakistan had damaged the Kashmiri cause by changing the 55-year-old stand on the issue. The U.N. resolutions in the context of Kashmir issue were important, as it had determined the path for resolving the issue. But the present regime has changed the stand and was now insisting on bilateral talks, which damaged the Kashmir cause. It also urged the Pakistan Government to stop increasing U.S. interference in internal matters of the country and defend national dignity and honour apart from winding up U.S. bases on the Pakistan soil. It deplored the Muslim world for maintaining silence over ''massacring'' of Muslims in Gujarat and expressed solidarity with Muslims facing ''atrocities'' in Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya, Myanmar, the Philippines and other parts of the world. It appealed to the people of Pakistan to observe Islamic culture and called for the imposition of Shariah in their homes. The meeting was attended by some of the leaders of the Pakistan chapter of the All- Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC).