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November 3, 2001
1143 IST

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India welcomes US ban on Laskhar, Jaish

Onkar Singh in New Delhi

The Indian government has welcomed the US government's decision to ban Laskhar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

"We welcome the step, though it has come a bit late," Minister of State for Home I D Swami told rediff.com on Saturday in New Delhi, hours after the ban had been announced.

"The US government has taken the correct stand. These Pakistan-based organisations had been involved in cross border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, and had carried out a number of violent attacks in which both innocent people and the security personnel lost their lives," said Swami.

Laskhar-e-Tayiba was responsible for the massacre of 36 Sikhs in Chittisinghpora in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir in March last year.

Jaish-e-Mohammed had owned the responsibility of October 1 attack on Jammu and Kashmir assembly in which 38 persons including four militants lost their lives

"It has been our long standing demand that if the world has to fight against terrorism then the United States should proscribe these two organisations as terrorist outfits. We are happy that the US government has taken this step on the eve of Prime Minister Vajpayee's visit to USA," Swami said.

He also the condemned terrorist attack on Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Gani Lone in Srinagar on Thursday night.

"Lone is a moderate leader and is known for his sane views on Jammu and Kashmir. Obviously those opposed to saner voices had carried out this attack on him in order to silence these views," Swami said.

Lashkar-e-Tayiba was floated in 1991 and has its base in Lahore in Pakistan. It has more than 600 hundred terrorists, mostly of Pakistani origin.

Jasih-e-Mohammed, an outfit floated by Maulana Masood Azhar, has more then 1500 terrorists comprising of foreigners and Pakistanis.

Both the proscribed organisations have close links with Al Qaeda, and have received funds from Laden to carry out their terrorist activities.

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