Pak Army’s new plans for Lashkar-e-Tayyeba
The Pakistan Army has not abandoned its relationship with global terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and its parent organisation, Jamaat-ud Dawa, despite the country promising to the global anti-terrorist financing body, FATF, last year that it had done so to extract the removal of greylisting.
Pakistan had been greylisted by the agency for failing to stop the financial network of terrorist groups operating from the country.
Although Pakistan, under pressure from international financial organisations, UN and FATF, had shut down many offices and front organisations of LeT and JuD besides arresting its top leaders like Hafiz Saeed and Abdul Rahman Makki, research published by a well-known terrorism expert working with a London think tank, Royal United Services Institution, has shown that at least 10 religious institutions were left open in Lahore and Muzaffarabad.
The responsibility for handling the terrorist organisation has shifted from ISI to Military Intelligence. Early this year, the new DG, MI, Major General Wazid Aziz, was with the ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum, to brief the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Umar Ata Bandial, about security challenges facing the country.
This was a notable departure from the past when it was the ISI chief who would make such presentations.
The research, based on over 100 interviews with various terrorist leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including that of LeT, points out the presence of over 1500 to 2000 LeT terrorists in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Indian Kashmir.
The figures differ in interviews held with terrorists from other groups, to a maximum of 6000 active LeT cadres.
On Hafiz Saeed, it is reported that the terrorist mastermind is in prison but continues to have access to his commanders and run the terrorist group from the prison.
This clearly shows complicity with the authorities, especially the army.
In one interview, a LeT leader said that Saeed might remain in prison for a few years but was likely to be freed thereafter.
The LeT had helped the army during the Afghan campaign.
It had dispatched about 7500 fighters to help the Afghan Taliban in their military campaign against the US-led international forces.
The LeT’s old networks in Nangarhar and a few other provinces in Afghanistan were used to organise the military offensive with the help of the Pakistan Army.
The army has tasked the group to recruit and train cadres for Kashmir. DG MI, General Aziz has been GOC, Chinar Div., a key military outpost involved in supporting terrorism against Kashmir.
The MI is reportedly recruiting cadres to be trained by LeT trainers for Kashmir.