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The Resistance Front - Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba's shadow terror outfit now launched in Kashmir: Reports

The Resistance Front - Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba's shadow terror outfit now launched in Kashmir: Reports

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 08 May 2020, 12:07 pm

Srinagar/IBNS: An intelligence report submitted to national security planners in New Delhi has claimed that a new terror group-The Resistance Front-has taken responsibility for major terror attacks and firefights in Jammu and Kashmir over the past few weeks, media reports said.

The fresh development occurred at a time when the nation is combating COVID-19 outbreak.

The report said the group is being controlled by three top handlers of the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan.

The TRF was launched late last year after Parliament scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided the state into two centrally-administered union territories, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, reported Hindustan Times.

The exercise is designed to give terror in Kashmir an indigenious face to ward off international pressure, particularly from the anti-terror financing watchdog FATF, over Pakistan sponsoring Islamist terror groups and what New Delhi describes as its jihadi terror factories, reported the Indian newspaper.

This objective, a security official told the Indian newspaper reflected the choice of names for the Inter Services Intelligence’s recent terror initiatives such as The Resistance Front or the low-key JK Pir Panjal Peace Forum.

The report also claimed that Lashkar leaders formed the core of the TRF.

“TRF is being controlled from Pakistan by top three Lashkar handlers: Sajad Jatt for South Kashmir, Khalid for Central Kashmir and Hanzala Adnan for North Kashmir,” the intelligence report accessed by Hindustan Times said.

At this point in time, security officials told HT the effort appeared to be to project the TRF as a formidable group to attract local recruits. 

Like when five terrorists and an equal number of army soldiers were killed in the Keran sector in early April, the TRF’s social media managers in Pakistan claimed responsibility, reported the newspaper.

The group had even claimed responsibility for the gunfight in Handwara.

One of the terrorists killed in the incident was identified by security forces as Lashkar commander Haider, a Pakistani national.

“Almost every TRF terrorist, arrested or killed, has been listed in our records under the Lashkar-e-Taiba,” Jammu and Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar told Hindustan Times.

Lately, TRF had expanded their net and were also inducting Hizbul terrorists, he said.

“The idea is to show the world that what Kashmir has is local militancy,” said Kumar.

Back in Kashmir, intelligence officials said the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s old guard was focussing on getting TRF new recruits from the Kashmir valley, reported Hindustan Times.

Imran Khan and his tweet:

Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Wednesday tweeted a swipe at India accusing New Delhi of trying to “find a pretext for a false flag operation targeting Pakistan”.

"Indian Occupation is a direct consequence of India's oppression & brutalisation of Kashmiris.The fascist policies of the RSS-BJP combine are fraught with serious risks. The international community must act before India's reckless moves jeopardise peace & security in South Asia," Khan tweeted. 

It was seen to be a response to reports of Pakistan’s attempt to infiltrate terrorists - Khan underlined the claim that Kashmir’s troubles were home-grown, Hindustan Times reported explaining the context of the tweet.

Hinting a Pakistani hand behind the launch of the new terror group, Times Now reported,"Various reports claim that after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan decided to increase the terror activities in the Valley."

However, facing international pressure and to protect itself from being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan decided to launch a new terror group with a new identity, reported the news channel.

Various Indian security agencies operating in Kashmir feel that the ‘TRF’was formed due to the pressure on Pakistan from the FATF to cut down on the funding of the terrorist groups, reported Times Now.

The developments took place at a time when India made a major breakthrough in its fight against terrorism in Kashmir when security forces eliminated Hizbul Mujahideen chief in Kashmir, Riyaz Naikoo on May 6 in  Awantipora.