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Terror groups operating as 'welfare trusts': Report

July 11, 2004 16:46 IST

Amid reports about suicide bombings and other forms of militant attacks emerging as a major threat in Pakistan, a media report has claimed that the country's Interior Ministry had "completely failed" to check the operations of terror outfits, seven of which have now resurfaced and were functioning as "welfare trusts".

"A startling confession by the ministry before the Pakistani National Assembly's Standing Committee on Interior Affairs late June showed that government as well as its agencies had completely failed to execute President Pervez Musharraf's orders in 2002 to hunt down and eliminate seven extremist organisations," The Friday Times has reported.

It quoted a ministry report saying that  only has the country seen a spate of attacks in recent months, some of these groups have resurfaced and are now functioning as "welfare trusts".

It said that at the same briefing for the House Committee, the Interior Secretary 'conceded that the law enforcement agencies are under serious pressure from these groups and are finding it difficult to execute Gen Musharraf's orders'.

In a related article, the prestigious Pakistani monthly Newsline also  reported that 'the era of suicide bomber has arrived in Pakistan', while The Friday Times in another article said the police was trying to track down women suicide bombers allegedly connected with the banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Observing that the 'rising incidents of suicide bombings has shaken the entire police administration to its very core', the Newsline quoted police officials as saying that the militants 'have no dearth of volunteers for suicide bombings, evidence of which can be seen in the fact that two or more operatives were used in the last three out of five suicide attacks in Pakistan'.

It said an arrested leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, floated by Maulana Masood Azhar who was released by India following
hijack of the Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar, has told the interrogators that a decision was taken by militants, who were
fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, to carry out 'fidayeen missions' within Pakistan.

"He is believed to have claimed that there are hundreds of mujahideen prepared to carry out suicide missions in Pakistan," the Newsline reported.

In another article, the monthly magazine said, "The militants trained for decades by the establishment in Pakistan to further its political agenda abroad are more dangerous than ever -- and now the battleground is their own country."

It said a handwritten notebook allegedly recovered from a militant in Karachi gave detailed techniques to make various kinds of explosives.

It also gave methods for converting an innocuous washing machine timer into a timer for a bomb, using tablets to obtain
chemicals for use in explosives or using coded SMS messages to communicate with other militants.

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