New Delhi: Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, accused in the Uri and Pathankot attacks, has asked the Pakistani government to allow jihadist groups to escalate their operations against India.
According to a report in the Indian Express, Azhar has argued that a lack of decisiveness in this regard could rob Pakistan of a ‘historic opportunity to seize Kashmir’.
Azhar’s appeal has been published in JeM’s weekly magazine Al-Qalam and comes amidst reports of disagreement between the civilian and military bosses in Pakistan over continued support to militants carrying out attacks against India.
“If the government of Pakistan shows a little courage,” Azhar writes in a front-page article in the magazine, “the problem of Kashmir, as well as the dispute over water, can be resolved once and for all right now. If nothing else, the government simply has to open the path for the mujahideen. Then, god willing, all the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016.”
Azhar argues in the piece that the jihadist policies Pakistan backed in the 1990s were beneficial to the country.
India had sought to build ‘Akhand Bharat’, Azhar claims, but its hopes were destroyed in the course of the jihad which left “every one of its limbs badly injured”.
Azhar then mocks India’s military prowess, saying the attacks in Pathankot and Uri had exposed it.
Saying that India is putting pressure on Pakistan all the time, Azhar asserts that it should have been Pakistan which cancelled the SAARC summit instead of India. He says that the jihadist insurgency in Kashmir has reduced India’s military strength considerably and Pakistan should take advantage of this.
The JeM chief then hails the transformation of jihad into a global phenomenon, saying that after Kashmir, Afghanistan and Palestine, there was ‘lightning’ now in Syria and Iraq, and jihad had turned ‘from a small spring to a river into a great ocean.’
Following the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in January, Pakistan’s government had acknowledged responsibility for the attacks lay with the Jaish-e-Muhammad, and promised action against the perpetrators. Though its Federal Investigation Agency was given access it sought to Indian witnesses, the agency has not shared the status of investigations with India. However, Masood Azhar and other key suspects remain free.
According to Pakistani newspaper Dawn, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting where Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry gave a presentation outlining international anger with Pakistan over its continued support for jihadist groups. The report said that West Punjab CM Shabaz Sharif had made it clear that the government could not act against terror as long as groups like JeM were given free rein....