Militant group’s resurgence: Dreaded Jaish looks to rise again

Published: August 19, 2011

A decade after being banned, the group revives ‘humanitarian’ arm.

ISLAMABAD: 

After remaining underground for a decade since being banned in 2001, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), the second largest jihadi group based in Punjab, has resumed full-scale public activity including fundraising while security agencies appear to be overlooking its ‘resurgence’.

Jaish activists and intelligence officials told The Express Tribune the group is in the process of regaining its traditional physical and financial strength which had dissipated during the ten-year ban imposed by former president Pervez Musharraf. The JeM, they added, is working on a plan to reach out to its activists who had abandoned the organisation after it came on the radar following an attack on the Indian parliament blamed on the group.

JeM is trying to consolidate avenues for fundraising, individual charity from within Pakistan and donations from Gulf states, which were partially blocked during the ban by the country’s security agencies. As a first step, an activist said, it had revived its charity, Al-Rehmat Trust, the group’s humanitarian wing once run by Master Allah Baksh, the father of Jaish founding chief Maulana Masood Azhar, till his death last year.

Maulana Ashfaq Ahmed, who is affiliated with the trust as its coordinator, told The Express Tribune from Bahawalpur, the city in southern Punjab where the organisation is based, that the charity’s fundraising was in full swing in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The trust capitalises on Masood Azhar’s name for recreating the goodwill it once enjoyed when it had fought in Afghanistan along with the Taliban before the regime was driven out of power by international forces. Government agencies have never obstructed the trust’s fundraising in either Punjab or KP, Maulana Ashfaq added. When asked why, he remarked: “You can put this question to the government and its agencies. We operate on the ground. We have a visible presence.”

Led by Azhar, Jaish is the second largest jihadi outfit in the Punjab. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is the biggest both in terms of the number of activists and infrastructure. Maulana Ashfaq said the trust’s offices were being re-established all over Punjab and KP including Jaish’s traditional strongholds in Kohat district and Hazara region. He added that fund-raising had gained momentum with the advent of Ramazan, but declined to give an approximation of the amount the charity might fetch by Eid. A younger brother of Masood, Amar Azhar (possibly his codename), was in Saudi Arabia to seek donations from rich businessmen and sympathisers in Gulf states.

Illusion

Officials of law enforcement agencies in Punjab said they had never received orders for a crackdown on the trust since it was not banned by the federal interior ministry. “Provincial authorities can only ban organisations proscribed by the federal government. Otherwise, they can take us to court,” said Senator Pervez Rasheed, an adviser to the Punjab government. Additional Inspector General (Investigations) Punjab police Azam Joya said not a single case against banned organisations for raising funds was referred to provincial law enforcers in recent months.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik was not available for  comment on why an organisation using the name of Jaish chief and sharing its headquarters has not been banned. KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also declined to comment on the trust’s activities in the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.

Reader Comments (30)

  • ashok sai
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:12AM

    This is the reason all the countries including India hate and fear about Pakistan. This terror outfits keep on mushrooming or reviving to threaten terror activities across globe. Pakistan so for allowed this madness, now the time has come to, ‘Perform or perish’.

    Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:54AM

    The JuD has shown that you can be the most ruthless and blood-thirsty terrorist organization in the garb of a charitable one. The JeM will follow suit and so will the countless other Islamic terrorist outfits that have the blessing of the establishment.

    Recommend

  • Rob Miller
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:58AM

    Raising Funds to kill people ha that means lot of people out there give money to kill innocents! What kind of world is that ! Can’t really imagine from here

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  • Aslam Mahaboob
    Aug 19, 2011 - 11:08AM

    Unbelievable!!!! While there is a peaceful revolution in india against corruption, here we are allowing such groups to flourish……..

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  • Nurmomad
    Aug 19, 2011 - 11:11AM

    Let’s hope that by acting prudently the government and the establishment are able to crush the head of this serpent first, and its body later… in phases..

    The people of Bahawalpur shall also rise against these unscrupulous elements and not let their city fall prey to sectarianism and militancy.

    We don’t want these

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  • faraz
    Aug 19, 2011 - 11:54AM

    The jihadi business is just so lucrative. The organizers gather money and status while the children of poor families meet their death in foreign lands.

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  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Aug 19, 2011 - 12:00PM

    “Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), the second largest jihadi group based in Punjab, has resumed full-scale public activity including fundraising while security agencies appear to be overlooking its ‘resurgence’.”
    I as a concerned citizen of Pakistan would like to know from Mr.Rehman Malik, why he has not ordered the agencies under his control to finish off this organization of terrorists????

    Recommend

  • Chacha
    Aug 19, 2011 - 12:39PM

    Osama was not in pakistan, Quetta Shura does not exist. neither does the JeM nor the LeT. …and Elvis is still alive.

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  • Frank
    Aug 19, 2011 - 1:14PM

    faraz

    The jihadi business is just so
    lucrative.

    Tell me about it. . You can make a tonne of money these days pandering to American fears of jihadis and their phobia of Muslims. And our Pakistani liberals are really making hay while the sun shines!

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  • Frank
    Aug 19, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Chacha

    …and Elvis is still alive.

    The King is in Iraq looking for the Weapons of Mass Destruction

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  • Someone
    Aug 19, 2011 - 1:54PM

    Mashallah

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  • Ishtiaer Hussain
    Aug 19, 2011 - 2:06PM

    If you have to rely on private Jihadi organization to promote your security interests in the region, they will bring you down into the hell-hole. Their activists are mecenaries and anyone can buy them with money. Any one having money can use them for any purpose. I am sure India can use atlesat some jihadi elements against Pakistan if they shower them with “dollars”. Dollars are their only weakness.

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  • faraz
    Aug 19, 2011 - 2:07PM

    @Frank

    It was the military and mullahs that made hay while US poured dollars during Afghan Jihad, and the same military and mullahs are making money during war on terror. There are no liberals in the political parties or decision making bodies of the country. Liberalism or conservatism has no impact on foreign policy. The West, thoroughly liberal at home, colonized the world and killed millions. Similarly, our army didn’t create or kill extremists out of their socio-religious beliefs.

    I am concerned with the 40,000 Pakistanis slaughtered by Taliban, sectarian killings by jihadis and an increasingly intolerant and bigoted society leading to global isolation and ultimately economic collapse. You seem more a nationalist than a right winger, I wonder why don’t you see the disaster in the making. Recommend

  • Naveed Baloch
    Aug 19, 2011 - 2:58PM

    Absolutely agreed with the author. A couple of weeks ago, there were some activists of JeM inviting people for their cause in a mosque in Quetta. Another bloody move by the “farishtays”.

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  • S Khan
    Aug 19, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Khad A Ala Sb under 18th ammendmend Law & order is your concern , please do not pass on the buck .

    I repeat the famous quote ” Either you are with us or with them”

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  • Ali Mardan
    Aug 19, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Our concerned authorities never address the issues in timely manner. They always keep blind eyes on such issues untill and unless it gets out of their reach. This terrorist organization was not only involved in terrorist activities in neighbouring countries but also played a devil’s role in sectarian bloodshed within the country. Now, the Government is giving room to them to flourish again. Saudi and other Gulf states are responsible for spreading sectarian hatered in our country. Why they are not funding organizations in Palastine to fight Israel? they are all cowards, instead they are fueling the hatered in other Muslim countries. Recommend

  • Ejaaz
    Aug 19, 2011 - 7:46PM

    Just today I think a person blew himself up in a jamrud mosque and killed 53!!!…and still the pak government has not even mentioned it in.

    I wonder how long with the silent majority will ‘endure’ such glaring non governance and such hypocrisy. I do not know will any one ever stand up and tell the government that enough is enough. You guys are getting killed anywayz either due to sectatian/ethnic/terrorist violence. So stand up for ur self..rather for the sake of ur children and grandchildren as the cause of your generation seems to have lost and you have to do it for a better tomorrow.

    Ejaaz Ahmed
    (Alhumdulillah) from MumbaiRecommend

  • Aug 19, 2011 - 9:51PM

    A good story for anti-Pakistan Forces i.e India and USA, etc.
    Dear auther!
    If some organisation is going to help kashmiris in their struggle for freedom,then why do you want to expose it to international media.
    Evil force will then force Pakistan to consider ban on such organisations.
    Do you want such a ban on JeM or JuD?
    Remember that, “Kashmir is the Jugular vien(shahrag) of Pakistan.”
    You can’t compromise on your jugular vien.
    Are You?

    Recommend

  • Imran Mohammad
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:42PM

    @Ejaaz

    (Alhumdulillah) from Mumbai

    What does it mean? Comon, you don’t have to pretend to be a Muslim to write on this forum. Show some guts and write under your original name.

    Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Aug 19, 2011 - 10:43PM

    @ DR SA KHAN,
    What kind of a human being you are? Are you trying to support the activities of JuD and JeM ?. Just hold on, think a second about the 53 lives those lost today. The next victim could be you or your children. Todays Pakistan is caught with sectarian killings, floods, crazy mullahs who twist and turn quaranic verses the way they want to lure people, corruption, blasphemy and most importantly conspiracy theorists. Pakistan or its neighbour India can not bear another round of repeat. India can not tolerate it forever, would never mind to give a knock out punch when time comes.Recommend

  • R A
    Aug 19, 2011 - 11:05PM

    Who said they were gone
    They were just hibernating and
    preparing to come back stronger
    AND MORE BLOOD THIRSTY
    Recommend

  • Aug 20, 2011 - 12:07AM

    @Anonymous:
    JeM and JuD have not claimed responsibility of today’s 53 casualties.
    These are acts of Raw,Mossad and CIA agents.

    How many Kashmiris have been killed by crual Indians for more than 60 years?
    You should also mention their number.
    But you can’t,because you are indian.
    Am I right?

    Recommend

  • Dinesh
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:30AM

    @ Dr SA KHAN
    you believe that muslim killing muslim even in lakhs are acceptable. But in a terrorists infested areas of kashmir taking up operations is not easy. Because of people who work 24*7 in neighbouring countries terrorising their minds to turn against their own army. Extremely unfortunate deaths do occour in Kashmir. We all regret it. It was not intentional. People of Kashmir are slowly understanding the evil designs across the border and how they are used as a scape goat in the due process. Indian government have shown their intent. They did not push punjabis or other people to settle in Kashmir, as china doing in tibet or lanka doing in tamil areas to change the demographics. India patiently waiting to win the hearts of Kashmiris completely. We do have strategic and historic reason to keep them with us as united. But we wont do anything bad for them like crazy mullahs. Kashmiris understood the meaning of democracy, peace and devolopement. They don’t want to stuck to mullahs era. They believe in Indian democracy that is the reason why they voted in large numbers. Nobody can deny this argument

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  • Ali Khan
    Aug 20, 2011 - 7:56AM

    @Dinesh Then Why your government is not willing to have a referendum in Kashmir. It will clear all things

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  • mohammed
    Aug 20, 2011 - 8:59AM

    pakistan are the culprits of all the worlds problems!

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  • Observer
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:08AM

    @Dr SA KHAN:
    “How many Kashmiris have been killed by crual Indians for more than 60 years?
    You should also mention their number.”

    By the same token, would you be honest enough to mention the number of Baloch, Pashtoon nationalists, Ahmedis, Shia, Christians, Gilgit-Baltistanis and East Pakistanis killed by Pakistan? Take a guess. The number runs in the millions. By the way also be sure to mention the Kashmiris killed by your terrorist friends, the number is 20,000.

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:24PM

    I am not surprised at all that this is happening as Shahbaz Sharif is CM punjab now. Since late 80′s as part of IJI Mian and his family have been using these Jihadi terrorist outfits to there advantage. They used money from them to move no confidence motion against PPP government. Though these factions have there own religious agenda but on political front they are used now and than by Nawaz or Shahbaz Sharif. Being the ‘smartest’ people I am sure they do not realize that supporting these outfits is like playing with fire.

    Recommend

  • Ejaaz
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:33PM

    @imran mohammed.

    So you think a muslim in India should not count himself/herself lucky that he or she doesn’t alhumdulillah have to face such horrible circumstances as muslims in pakistan??

    I know it isn’t all rosy here and we at times have to face persecution at the hands of fanatical hindus during communal riots and suspicious policemen. But looking at pakistan and how it treats even its majority, I thank Allah a hundred times that I am here. Of course i would have loved to be born in a muslim country like malaysia or kuwait or qatar or turkey but then Allah knows the ilm of Ghaib and he does not like people who are constantly nagging so I think it is not wise of me to wish it were so.

    But your assumption that since I am praising India, I must be a hindu under a muslim name. By the way I am just hoping that pakistanis open their eyes to what their nation has become. There are so many good people from pakistan I met on my trips overseas to Europe. While we returned when we lost our jobs during the recession they preferred to live their at any cost. Looking at where your country is headed and to make it worse, the utter denial of those in power, makes me think they made a wise decision.

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  • Pasha
    Aug 20, 2011 - 6:56PM

    Sounds like ‘war of terror’ mantra, keep pakistan busy with fighting its own people.

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  • R S JOHAR
    Aug 20, 2011 - 8:42PM

    Its ironical that Pakistan who proclaims to the whole world to be victim of terroism is allowing growth of terror organisations and even supporting them. Outfits like LeT, JeM, JuD, LeJ etc are not only having a free run in the whole country but also receiving support from the state and foreign countries. Pakistan has become the playground of the terrorists and no wonder innocent people are getting killed on daily basis. The whole world including India is getting more and more worried due to state of anarchy in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan. The state machinery must act now to control the situation otherwise dooms day is not far away.

    Recommend

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