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Lashkar jihadis trying to acquire WMDs?

June 29, 2014 15:15 IST

Pakistan-based Lashkar-eTayiba and its front group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, enjoying backing of the military, have not only grown far stronger since the Mumbai terror attack in 2008, but are also trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, in addition to developing air and sea power, a new book says.

"It is known that the JuD has been acquiring sea and air power. However, what is less known is that it is also trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD)," US-based Pakistani author Arif Jamal writes in his book titled Calls for Transnational Jihad: Lashkar-e-Taiba 1985-2014.

"The JuD believes it is likely to acquire access to nuclear technology by not going against the PakistaniState. It may come sooner than we con imagine given the JuD's ability to realise its plans systematically and cool headedly," he writes in the book running into more than 260 pages.

Jamal concludes that the Pakistan government is unlikely to take any action against LeT or JuD or its leader Hafeez Saeed mainly because of the goal of the army and the spy agency ISI to bleed India in times of peace and avoid war.

Jamal noted that the Pakistan Army has used the jihadist groups against India and Afghanistan mostly in time of peace.

"The goal has been to bleed India in times of peace and avoid war," he said.

The US last week named JuD as a "foreign terrorist organization", a status that freezes any assets it has under American jurisdiction.

Noting that the West's efforts to get Pakistan act against the JuD seems at best half-hearted, Jamal says the military raised jihadist organisations to fight its jihad in Kashmir and later in Afghanistan.

"Even after the passage of more than five years, Pakistan has not taken any action against the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. The sham trial of LeT commanders shows that Pakistan has no plans to dismantle the jihadist infrastructure," Jamal says.

"In fact, the JuD has grown far more stronger since November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks with the support of the Pakistani Army," he adds.

"Although Pakistan's primary reasons to keep supporting the jihadist organisations remain the same, new reasons came as time went on. Both publicly and privately, Pakistani military officials stress the new reasons to keep supporting the JuD," he said.

The new reason to not dismantle the JuD's jihadist infrastructure may be beneficial in the short-term, but may imperil world peace in the medium and long terms beyond imagination, he added. 

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