Islamabad, Mar. 24 (ANI): In what certainly puts Pakistan's claims on clamping down on extremist groups under scrutiny, hundreds of armed militants, including those from the banned Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD), and the Hizbul Mujahideen, gathered in Kotli town of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) vowing to wage 'jihad' against India and fight for Kashmir's 'freedom.'
Hundreds of people attended the public rally shouting slogans against India and urging people to fight for the freedom of Kashmir through placards reading: "We are ready for jihad."
Addressing the terror gathering, which was organised on the occasion of Pakistan Day, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Syed Salahuddin said 'jihad' against India must continue unless India liberates Kashmir.
"Diplomacy, talks and negotiations spanning several decades have not worked. The only way to liberate Kashmir is jihad. Jihad will continue until India ends its occupation of Kashmir," The Daily Times quoted Salahuddin, as saying.
He also denied the involvement of 'jihadi groups' in the wave of terror attacks that has killed hundreds in Pakistan in the recent past.
The rally comes less than a month after the Pakistan government was urged not to create hurdles in the way of 'freedom fighters' struggling for the cause of an 'independent Kashmir' during a 'terror meet' in Muzaffarabad.
The 'terror meet', which was organised by anti-India jehadi organizations and was attended by former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Hamid Gul and other extremist leaders, called for continuing the jihad till freedom is won from India.
Although the event was organised by the lesser known Tehrik Azadi-i-Jammu Kashmir last month, it was in effect a show of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which maintainined a low profile in the region since 26/11. (ANI)