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Sheikh Rashid organised militant camps: Qureshi
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June 15, 2005 20:55 IST

Separatist leader Hashim Qureshi said on Wednesday the initial armed training for Kashmiri youths was imparted at camps run by Pakistan's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid.

His comments come after Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Liberation Front chief Yaseen Malik's comment in Pakistan suggesting Sheikh Rashid ran terror camps, where 3,500 militants were trained. The leader has since denied the remarks.

"Yaseen Malik has spoken the truth. I worked as a senior office-bearer of the JKLF till 1994. I have interacted with cadres trained at his camp in Ternool," said the man who had hijacked an Indian Airlines plane in 1971.

Qureshi, who is now opposed to the armed struggle, said all JKLF camps were run from Rashid's farmhouse, which is 13 km from Rawalpindi.

Rashid's camps are being looked after by JKLF leader Sardar Rasheed Hasrat, he added.

Qureshi, who broke away from the JKLF and formed his the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Liberation Party, said, "The camps were functional till 1990 after which they were transferred."

When asked whether there were more Pakistan ministers who run similar camps, Qureshi said, "It will be better to ask whether there was any high official who was not involved in militancy."

Malik's comments led to a controversy with New Delhi accusing Islamabad of not honouring its pledge to stop terrorism from its soil.

Rashid denied Malik's statement and said he may be talking of some other 'Sheikh'.

Also read:

Malik travelling to PoK after 17 years
JKLF leader gets a rousing welcome
JKLF chief chooses to travel to PoK in private car

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