Pak Floats Yet Another Militant Outfit
"Pak Floats Yet Another Militant Outfit"
Formation of Islamic Extremist Group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)
By: Dwarika Prasad Sharma
Date: September 9, 2000
Source: The Times of India
About the Author: At the time the primary source article was written, Dwarika Prasad Sharma worked as a writer for The Times of India.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM, or Army of Mohammed) was formed in Pakistan during January-February 2000 by Maulana Masood Azhar. The former leader of the extremist group, Harkat ul-Ansar (HuA), Azhar, was earlier released from prison by the Indian government on December 31, 1999, after hijackers demanded his exchange for 155 Indian Airlines hostages. Azhar is believed to have received assistance in setting up the JeM from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan, the Taliban network in Afghanistan, and Osama Bin Laden.
Also known as Khuddam-ul-Islam and Tehrik ul-Furqaan, JeM is an Islamic extremist group whose stated goals are to unite the disputed territory of Kashmir (located in the northern portion of the Indian subcontinent) with Pakistan, to unite the various Kashmiri extremist militant groups, and to fight and ultimately destroy India and the United States.
Most of the personnel and materials used by the JeM are supplied by the militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HuJi) and the Harakat ul-Majahidin (HuM). The JeM remains closely tied to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, and is a member of Bin Laden's International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders (IIF).
Some of the terrorist acts attributed to JeM include the suicide bombing at a local army headquarters at Badami Bagh in Srinagar, India, on April 23, 2000; the rocket-grenade attack into the office of the chief minister in Srinagar in July 2000, where four persons, but not the chief minister, were injured; the rifle-grenade attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Secretariat building in Srinagar on June 28, 2001; the car-bomb attack on the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly complex at Srinagar on October 1, 2001, in which at least twenty-eight people were killed; and the attack on India's Parliament in New Delhi on December 12, 2001, in which nine employees were killed and eighteen others injured.
Other incidents that have gained international attention, to which members of the JEM were linked by authorities include the kidnapping ( January 23, 2002) and later decapitation killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan, along with several assassination attempts against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003.
[This text has been suppressed due to author restrictions]
[This text has been suppressed due to author restrictions]
JeM is an integral part of the current struggle on the border region between India and Pakistan. It is a fight that originated when the state of Jammu and Kashmir was one of hundreds of semi-autonomous areas that in the 1930s were allowed to either join India, Pakistan, or become independent. The leader of Jammu and Kashmir, the Maharajah Hari Singh, preferred independence, but due to differences of opinion within its citizens on a course of action, nothing was decided on the day of independence. Throughout the next several decades, the people living in the region could not agree as to whether to be incorporated within India or Pakistan, or to seek independence. When fighting broke out among factions within the region, the Maharajah asked the Indian government for help to resolve its internal strife. He eventually agreed to cede power to India in exchange for military aid.
However, the government of Pakistan continued to contest this arrangement between India and the Jammu and Kashmir. The government of India brought the issue before the United Nations Security Council initially in 1948 and several times thereafter. During the next few decades, conflicts and disputes continued over the fate of Jammu and Kashmir. Eventually, in 1972, a Line of Control was established so that India gained control of Kashmir to the east and south that included Jammu, Ladakh, and the Kashmir Valley, and Pakistan gained control of Kashmir to the north and west.
Wars over the still-disputed lands continued after 1972. Beginning in the 1980s, numerous discontented militant groups were organized, with some advocating the independence of Kashmir and others supporting its accession to Pakistan.
On January 19, 1990, the Indian government declared that it would begin ruling both areas of the Kashmir region. From then on, opposition militant groups swelled in numbers and new militant groups were formed to fight the common cause against India, and frequently, for their own particular causes. One of these major militant groups was the JeM. Under its leader Azhar, it rapidly gained membership and power.
Currently, both India and Pakistan do not favor the independence for Jammu and Kashmir. Both want the region under their own direct control. Tensions over Kashmir have mounted in recent years as India and Pakistan continue to assert their presence as nuclear powers. Both nations have conducted low-yield nuclear weapons tests in or near Kashmir.
About eighteen months after the formation of the JeM, the United States announced in October 2001 the addition of the group to the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) list, primarily because of its ties with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
After a December 13, 2001, terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi, for which the JeM has been held responsible, the Indian government banned the group under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Ganguly, Sumit. The Crisis in Kashmir: Portents of War, Hopes of Peace. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Hewitt, Vernon Marston. Reclaiming the Past: The Search for Political and Cultural Unity in Contemporary Kashmir. London: Portland Books, 1995.
Wirsing, Robert G. India, Pakistan, and the Kashmir Dispute. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.
International Relations Center. Gershman, John. "Overview of Self-Determination Issues in Kashmir." <http://selfdetermine.irc-online.org/conflicts/kashmir_body.html> (accessed June 22, 2005).
South Asia Analysis Group. Ramon, B. "Jaishe-e-Mohammed (JeM)—A Backgrounder." <http://www.saag.org/papers4/paper332.html> (accessed June 22, 2005).
South Asia Intelligence Review. Gill, K.P.S. "Jaish-e-Mohammed Mujahideen E-Tanzeem (Army of the Prophet, Mohammed)." <http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/states/jandk/terrorist_outfits/jaish_e_mohammad_mujahideen_e_tanzeem.htm> (accessed June 22, 2005).