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Terrorists openly collect funds in Pak for war on India

Last updated on: July 11, 2012 13:59 IST

Terrorists openly collect funds in Pak for war on India

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Amir Mir in Islamabad

Thr clout of key terrorist organisations in Pakistan has grown to such an extent that they openly collect funds and recruit cadre for fight the war against India. Amir Mir reports

Many of the Pakistan-based militant organisations, which have already been proscribed by the international community after being declared terrorist groups, keep operating freely all over the country without risking the ire of the law enforcement agencies that are apparently toeing the line of the Pakistani military establishment.

One such Pakistan-based jihadi organisation, which has been waging a guerrilla war in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, is the Al-Badr Mujahideen.

The Al-Badr Mujahideen is one of the four terrorist groups active in the Kashmir Valley, which have already been banned by the United States. 

The outfit is a splinter group of the Hizbul Mujahideen, which is led by Syed Salahuddin.

The other three banned jihadi groups include the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Harkatul Jehadul Islami and the Jamiat ul Mujahideen. 

The recruitment and training activities of the Al-Badr Mujahideen, led by Commander Bakht Zameen, have now come under Pakistan media's spotlight.

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Photographs: Courtesy The Express Tribune

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"Terrorists fighting Indian rule in Jammu & Kashmir are brazenly raising funds and recruiting potential fighters in cities and towns of Pakistan. Al-Badr Mujahideen, a breakaway faction of Hizbul Mujahideen group, organised a 'Shuada Conference' in the Swan Adda area of the garrison town of Rawalpindi on Sunday (July 9, 2012) to seek fresh recruits and raise funds. The group's chief commander Bakht Zameen Khan told 1,000-plus supporters at the conference that his commanders have sought resources to keep the jihad going in Jammu & Kashmir and Afghanistan", The Express Tribune, one of Pakistan's leading English newspapers, reported on July 10.

The news report further quoted Bakht Zameen Khan as saying: "Our commanders in Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan say they will carry out big attacks if they are provided with more resources. They have the spirit, but they are facing a shortage of funds and supplies."

The group's supporters from Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir attended the conference where Gulbaddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan and Al Badr Mujahideen had set up stalls to sell anti-India and anti-America propaganda CDs and jihadi literature. Entry for journalists was restricted.

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Photographs: Courtesy The Express Tribune

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Key leaders from the Hizbul Mujhiadeen led by Syed Salahuddin, Hizbe-e-Islami Afghanistan led by Gulbaddin Hekmatyar and Jamaatul Daawa led by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and other terror groups spoke at the two-day a 'Shuada Conference'.

In his address, Bakht Zameen condemned the reopening of NATO transit routes by the Pakistan government.

"We were very happy when the routes were closed. But the rulers gave in to the US pressure. The government in Islamabad should not side with infidels because it will create anarchy in the country," Bakht added.

He, however, quashed the impression that jihadi outfits were doing the bidding of the Pakistani security establishment.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Speaking on the occasion, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin said that Pakistan has been encircled by the United States and its NATO allies.

"Pakistan is the target of the US-Israeli nexus. Our committed fighters are defending Pakistan at a time when its geographical boundaries, its security and Islamic identity are at risk," he said.

Syed Salahuddin condemned the killing of innocent civilians in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir at the hands of the Indian security forces, adding: "We are fighting in Kashmir. It doesn't matter to us if we are labelled terrorists. We are proud to be called terrorists for fighting the Indian security forces and the US-led forces in Afghanistan".

Syed Salahuddin, whose real name is Mohammed Yusuf Shah, is also the chairman of the United Jihad Council -- an alliance of 16 terrorist groups that are fighting in Jammu and Kashmir. The United Jihad Council is supported by the Pakistani military and its all-powerful Inter Services Intelligence.

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Image: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin
Photographs: Reuters

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It may be recalled that Al Badr Mujahideen, previously known as Al Badr, is named after the historic Battle of Badr (near the present day Medina) fought and won by the followers of the Holy Prophet Mohammad on March 17, 624, against the army of Mecca.

This victory is seen by Muslims as due to divine intervention and as heralding the beginning of the conquest of the world by Islam. This battle finds special mention in the Quran.

Al Badr Mujahideen, which is the oldest of the existing jihadi terrorist organisations of Pakistan and is considered as close to the ISI and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, is known in the jihadi circles as one of the richest of the terrorist organisations.

Like the LeT, it is Wahabi in orientation, and, again like the LeT, has not come to notice for any anti-Shia acts of terrorism.

While Punjabi Muslims constitute the largest single group in the LeT, which has its headquarters at Muridke in Pakistani Punjab, Pashtuns constitute the largest single group in Al Badr Mujahideen, which has its central headquarters, located at the Mansehra district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Al Badr was the first jihadi organisation to introduce suicide terrorism in the sub-continent -- in the Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir.

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Photographs: Reuters

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