Wednesday, September 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India

M A I N   N E W S

Freeze assets of LeT also: India

New Delhi, September 25
A day after the USA decided to freeze assets of Pakistan-based militant outfit Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and 26 others, India today sought similar action against the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammad and other Pakistan-backed terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.

“We would like the list to be expanded to include other terrorist organisations,” an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told reporters when asked about the exclusion of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad from the US list.

“The USA has made a beginning listing one such terrorist organisation. We hope we will see more of such organisations being targeted as the USA spreads its web wider to deal with such groups that are known to indulge in terrorist activities and have used financial networks and fund-raising to support violence and terrorism,” she said.

She said India was confident that its concerns over terrorism would be recognised by the USA and the international community but stressed that India was not plagued by any sense of insecurity. PTIBack



Harkat-ul-Mujahideen: factsheet
Tribune News Service

WHAT is the background of the Pakistan-based Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HM), one of the militant organisations whose assets have been frozen by the USA? What is its organisational structure? What are its activities? How did it operate its accounts in Pakistan?

The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HM) came into existence after the USA banned the Harkat-ul-Ansar in October, 1997, for its role in promoting terrorism internationally. The ban did not bring about any change in the activities of the outfit. The ISI of Pakistan also continued to extend support to the organisation.

The Harkat-ul-Ansar (HA) was formed on October 13, 1993, following the merger of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HJI). Its volunteers have participated in terrorist operations in Myanmar, Kashmir, Tajikistan and Bosnia. The ISI was its major source of supply of funds, arms and ammunition in Kashmir and elsewhere. The HA also purchased arms and ammunition directly from the arms market of Darra Adam Khel in the NWFP.

The HA represented the Deoband school (Sunni) of Islamic thought. HA militants were fanatic Sunni Muslims and distinguished themselves from other Sunni Muslims by describing themselves as Ansar, the term given to actual Muslim residents of Medina by Prophet Mohammad. The jehadi activities of HJI began when Amir Ershad Ahmed, Qari Saifullah Akhtar and Maulana Abdus Samad Siyal went to Afghanistan on February 25, 1980, to participate in the jehad against Soviet troops along with Ahmed Shah Masood and Prof Berhanuddin Rabbani’s forces. On June 25, 1985, Ershad Ahmed was killed. Maulana Saifullah Akhtar then succeeded him as Amir. The HA split into two groups in 1997. One group was led by Maulana Fazalur Rehman Khalil and the other by Mufti Mohd. Uvais Kashmiri.

The outfit’s organisational structure has remained the same even after the change of its name to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. In PoK and Pakistan, its office-bearers include an Amir with Naib Amirs, a secretary, a publicity chief, a finance chief and a training incharge. According to journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai of Pakistan, this organisation is close to Osama bin Laden.

Maulana Fazalur Rehman Khalil, Central Amir, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, said at Peshawar on July 18, 1999, that the USA was a threat to the whole world and not only to Osama bin Laden. He warned if the USA tried to attack Osama, the Taliban or Afghanistan, a war would break out against America.

HM leaders claimed that their cadres participated in the Kargil conflict. Maulana Mohd Farooq Kashmiri, Amir, stated (Muzaffarabad, July 15, 1999) that HM militants would not vacate the Kargil heights unless the Indian Army left Kashmir. He also criticised the Lahore Declaration and the Washington announcement as a betrayal of jehad “for the liberation of Kashmir”. He announced that the HM would wage a jehad in support of the oppressed all over the world. Maulana Fazalur Rehman Khalil revealed (Rawalpindi, July 19, 1999 ) that 2000 militants belonging to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Al-Badr and the Hizbul Mujahideen had participated in Kargil and 50 of their activists were killed in the fighting.

The HM, like other militant groups based in Pakistan, is mainly composed of Pakistani and Afghan mercenaries. After Kargil, in order to maintain the momentum of militancy in Kashmir, such groups had been entrusted with greater responsibility for carrying out jehad against India”.

The formation of the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit by Maulana Masood Azhar led to serious differences among the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen leadership. Some of the HM leaders — Mufti Mohd Asghar, Sajid Jehadi, Gazi Baba, Maulana Jabbar, Maulana Zafar and Maulana Umar (operational commander in Poonch) left the HM and joined the JM.

The chief patron of the HA (Jamia Khairul Madarasa) is Maulana Abdul Hafiz Makki. The other patrons are Maulana Shamshad Ahmed, Maulana Saifullah Khalid, Maulana Mehboob Illahi and Maulana Zahidur Rashidi (Chairman, World Islamic Forum).

Its recruiting, training and launching centres are at Athmuqam, Kel Sector, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Maskar Khaliddin Walid, Kotli and Maskar Kotli.

The HA main office is located at Lahore, (192, 9/9 Sham Nagar Road, Main Burji Chowk). Its other offices are at 379, Sector 1, Pindora, Chungi, Islamabad; 247; Huma Block, Kali Kothi, Iqbal Town, Lahore; 159-G, Masjid Chowk, Opposite Eddy Centre, Defence Society, Lahore Cantt; Lal Masjid, Begumpura, Lahore; House No. 1, Gali 1, Aftab Park, Shezan Factory, Bund Road, Lahore; and Daftar, Harkat-ul-Ansar, Ali Akbar Awan High School, Upper Chattar, Muzaffarabad.

The HA relied on donations from rich Pakistanis and collections from abroad — West Asia, the UK and the USA — apart from the ISI. It also published appeals for donations in its magazine Sada-e-Mujahid. The modus operandi of sending funds to Kashmir was either through militants working as couriers or hawala channels. Besides funds from within Pakistan and abroad, the ISI remained a major financier of the HA. It maintained the following bank account in Pakistan: HuA J&K Moh. Farooq Kashmiri, Current A/c No. 2904-7, Allied Bank of Pakistan, Civil Centre Branch, Islamabad.Back

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