Spy agencies claim banned militant groups recruiting in Punjab

Intelligence agencies say 51 freed terrorists also regrouping.

Express August 25, 2011

LAHORE: Amid reports that banned militant organisation Jaish-e-Muhammad has resumed full-scale public activity, intelligence agencies have said that other militant groups have also begun recruiting young men from Punjab to fight, particularly in Indian Kashmir.

These recruitments, agencies say, have begun following visits from renowned militant leader Syed Salahuddin to different cities in Punjab. Salahuddin heads Hizbul Mujahideen, the most prominent militant outfit in Kashmir, and heads terror alliance Muttahida Jihad Council which supports Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan.

According to the agency’s report, these activities
have been observed since the last week of July in many cities in central Punjab. Both Salahuddin and Hafiz Saeed have been delivering emphatic speeches at
public gatherings and Iftar parties.

Meanwhile, another report forwarded by Punjab home department says that banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has also become active, particularly after the release of the group’s founder Malik Ishaq in July.

A circular has been sent
to the Punjab inspector general of police, Lahore police chief, all regional police officers and district police officers.

According to the report, some terrorists who have been released from Punjab’s prisons in the last six months have also regrouped.

These 51 alleged high-profile terrorists, says the report, have been conducting meetings with their previous accomplices and are collaborating with the outfits that they used to belong to. All these terrorists were imprisoned for their involvement in terrorism cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th,  2011.