JUI leaders' India visit foxes LeT
18 July 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The visit of Pakistan's hardline leader and chief of Jamiat-Ulema-Islam (JUI) Fazal-ur-Rahman to India has baffled militant groups like Lashker-e-Toiba who were still trying to guess reasons for his visit, Pakistani media reports said today. JUI, which is considered very close to militant outfits like Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed, was criticised by Lashker which is opposed to the thaw between India and Pakistan and consider 'these efforts' at breaking the ice as being tantamount to sabotaging 'Jihad-e-Kashmir. For them the decision by the top leadership of the JUI to visit India at this juncture came 'as a surprise,' Pakistan's news weekly 'the Friday Times' said. The Lashker had also recently condemned last month's decision of Jamaat-e-Islamia of giving reception to visiting Indian Parliamentary Delegation. 'Jihad is the only solution to the Kashmir problem,' said Hafeez Mohammed Saeed, chief of the Lashker, who has renamed the outfit as Dawat-ul-Irshad. 'We are not concerned about what the Government is doing since it is dancing to the tune of the United States. But it is difficult to understand why the religious parties, who understand the nature of this (Kashmir) struggle, should fall victim to this great charade,' Lashker spokesman Yauya Mujahid was quoted by the newspaper as saying. Rahman, who is leading a four member JUI delegation to India, had said yesterday dialogue and not violence was solution to the Kashmir problem and even favoured holding of talks on this crucial issue within the parametres of the Shimla agreement.