Major Jihadi groups in Pak go underground

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Islamabad, Dec.13 (ANI): In the wake of last month's terror attacks in Mumbai and the subsequent crackdown by the Pakistan Government on the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba and its political wing - the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a coalition of five major Jihadi organisations, led by militant commander Syed Salahuddin, has disappeared.

According to The News, these Jihadi organizations have temporarily dissolved themselves, closed down their offices, removed all signs and asked their leaders to stay quiet.

"Following the Mumbai attacks and the subsequent tension between Pakistan and India, the United Jihad Council has decided to remain silent," The News quoted an unnamed UJC commander, as saying.

He said the incumbent Pakistani rulers were pursuing the same policy adopted by Pervez Musharraf and the statements on Kashmir issued so far by President Asif Zardari had made it clear that the present Pakistan government would extend no support to the Kashmiri freedom fighters.

"In the current situation, the UJC is maintaining complete silence and has no contact with any Pakistani organization or institution," the UJC commander said.

The paper claims that this is a fallout of the current tensions between Pakistan and India and the ban imposed by the UN on Jihadi organizations allegedly operating from Pakistan.

The United Jihad Council (UJC) is a major Kashmiri group comprising Harkat-ul-Ansar, Hizbul Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Jihad, Al-Barq, Ikhwan-ul-Mussalmin andTehrik-ul-Mujahideen.

By early 1999, as many as 15 organisations were affiliated with the council, though only five of these were considered influential.

"The outfits banned in Pakistan, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, have never worked with the UJC nor maintained with it any direct or indirect contact," the unnamed UJC commander claimed.

The UJC was formed in the summer of 1994 by amalgamation of several armed resistance organisations. It is currently headed by Syed Salahuddin, the leader of the Hizb-ul Mujahideen. (ANI)

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