Offices of 12 Militant Outfits Sealed in PoK as Pakistan Cracks Whip on Terror Camps
Srinagar: Operating for the last 32 years in Muzaffarabad and the surrounding areas of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), offices of 12 Kashmiri militant organisations, have been sealed by the Pakistan administration, the Independent Urdu newspaper reported.
These 12 militant outfits were working under the banner of United Jihad Council (UJC), which is headed by Sayeed Salahudeen, the head of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen which is the main militant group operating in Kashmir valley. Besides sealing the offices, the report said the funding for these organisations has also been stopped.
The real name of Salahuddin is Mohammed Yusuf Shah, who was born in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. He even contested election from Amira Kadal seat of Srinagar in 1987 but lost. His party, Muslim United Front (MUF), alleged mass rigging. He later became the militant commander. Salahuddin was designated as a global terrorist by the USA in 2017.
The crackdown on the militant organisations comes in the backdrop of mounting pressure by the Financial Action Task Force or FATF, the newspaper reported.
After the February 14 suicide attack on CRPF convoy by Jaish e Mohammad, India has been mounting pressure on Pakistan to take action against the militant camps operating from its territory. Indian even carried out the Balakot airstrike and claimed to have killed a large number of militants in one such camp, though Pakistan has been denying the claim.
The two countries were on the verge of a war and dogfights took place between the two. Indian pilot, wing commander Abhindandan, whose aircraft crashed on the other side of the LoC, was caught by Pakistan and was later released.
India has been accusing Pakistan of supporting and running terrorist camps in PoK and other parts of the country and using then against them in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, though Pakistan has been distancing itself from the allegations.
This is for the time in three decade long history of militancy J&K that Pakistan has blocked the funds to the UJC and sealed the offices of its affiliates.
Recently, Pakistan took 44 members of proscribed organisations in preventive detention. Mufti Abdul Raoof, believed to be the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Hamad Azhar, Masood Azhar’s son are also included among those detained.
The United Nations on May 1 designated Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him.
This was seen as a huge diplomatic success for India as this happened a decade after New Delhi approached the world body on the issue.
The UN committee listed Azhar on May 1, 2019 as being associated with Al-Qaeda for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of", "supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to", "recruiting for", "otherwise supporting acts or activities of", and "other acts or activities indicating association with" the JeM.
In Kashmir valley, after the February 14 attack, forces launched massive operations against the militants, particularly the Jaish ranks, and were successful in killing the outfit’s top commanders. Even on Saturday, three Jaish militants, including its top commander Khalid, were killed in Pulwama.