JeM’s Masood Azhar calls on Pakistan govt to give free hand for jihad: Report

Azhar argues that organisations like his JeM can achieve victory for Pakistan in Kashmir and avenge the 1971 defeat

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Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) head Masood Azhar has called on the Pakistani government to “shows a little courage” and allow jihadist organisations a free hand in escalating their attacks in India, in order to “resolve” the Kashmir dispute, the Indian Express reported on Thursday.

According to the report, Azhar, alleged to have masterminded the Pathankot attack in January this year, was addressing the Pakistani establishment in the current issue of the JeM weekly magazine al-Qalam.

Quoting Azhar, the national daily’s report said: “If the government of Pakistan shows a little courage… The problem of Kashmir, as well as the dispute over water, can be resolved once and for all right now. If nothing else, the government simply has to open the path for the mujahideen. Then, god willing, all the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016.”

The appeal was meant to stir up memories of Pakistan’s defeat in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, where Indian armed forces and the Bangladeshi Mukti Bahini handed the Pakistani armed forces in then East Pakistan a decisive defeat, a historical event which still feeds into the bellicose narrative of those like Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed.

Jihadist policy has “damaged” India

Lobbying for greater role and freedom for terrorist organisations like the JeM, Azhar, according to the national daily, wrote that jihad by Pakistan-based organisations had left “every one of its (India’s) limbs badly injured”.

Touting the success of jihad as a military strategy, Azhar added, “What remained of its military prowess was exposed in Pathankot and Uri.” Read Full Story

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Continued jihad in Kashmir

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