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EU Analyses Designating Pakistani Militant Leader Masood Azhar a Terrorist

JeM is already a U.S.- and U.N.-designated terror group

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FILE - Indian activists carry placards of the leader of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group, Masood Azhar, during a protest denouncing an attack on the Indian air force base in Pathankot, in Mumbai, India, Jan. 4, 2016. VOA

The European Union is reportedly contemplating designating the leader of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) a terrorist.

The EU’s decision comes nearly a week after a push by France and India to declare JeM leader Masood Azhar a terrorist and freeze his assets.

JeM is already a U.S.- and U.N.-designated terror group.

Focus on Kashmir

Azhar is an Islamist extremist who wants to end Indian control of a portion of the disputed Kashmir area and merge it with Pakistan. He was born in 1968 in Pakistan’s Punjab province in a Deobandi (Sunni sect) Muslim family.

jem, masood azhar, pakistani
Azhar founded Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2000 and maintained his affiliation with several terror groups, including al-Qaida, Hurkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), all U.S.-designated terror groups. Wikimedia

He reportedly received his early education in Bahawalpur, Punjab, and later enrolled in Jamia-ul-Uloom, an Islamic seminary in Karachi, where he became a teacher.

Azhar founded Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2000 and maintained his affiliation with several terror groups, including al-Qaida, Hurkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), all U.S.-designated terror groups.

JeM is believed to be based in the Peshawar region of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Azhar received his militant training in Afghanistan in the 1980s and fought Soviet troops there.

Spurred by jihad decree

Azhar reportedly traveled to Afghanistan in 1988 with his brother, Ibrahim Azhar, who according to analysts played a key role in shaping Masood’s religious ideology.

masood azhar, pakistani, jem
FILE – Muslim cleric Masood Azhar arrives at Karachi airport, Jan. 22, 2000. VOA

“Azhar himself mentioned in one of the articles that his inclination towards jihad started when Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, head of the Karachi Jamia-ul-Uloom at that time, issued an Islamic decree for students to go and participate in Afghan jihad,” Mujahid Hussain, an author and expert on terror outfits, told VOA.

It was during his time in Afghanistan that Azhar developed a relationship with al-Qaida and its leadership, and later worked closely with the terror group.

Azhar traveled to several countries, including Britain, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, India and Bangladesh, to raise funds and recruit youth toward jihad.

He has written over 20 books on Islamic history and the importance of jihad.

Location a mystery

Azhar’s current whereabouts are unknown. Some experts in Pakistan believe he is living in Bahawalpur, a city in southern Punjab.

jem, masood azhar, pakistani
Azhar traveled to several countries, including Britain, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, India and Bangladesh, to raise funds and recruit youth toward jihad. Wikimedia

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“I personally know many people who have met Azhar in Bahawalpur. Azhar reportedly goes to the mosques, gives sermons and greets people. And he continues to write for JeM’s magazine,” Hussain said.

On Feb. 5, when various religious parties throughout Pakistan marked Kashmir Day, an audio clip of Azhar was played during a JeM rally in Karachi. In the audio, Azhar invited people toward jihad.

“Stay determined,” he said. “And instead of going one by one, if you all go out there together as a group, India won’t be able to stand us for even one month. (VOA)

Next Story

Is surgical strike the ultimate answer to Pakistan fueled terrorism?

The new policy has sent a clear indication to Pakistan that the Indian government was not averse to precision attacks similar to last year’s cross-border strike on militants in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

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In the new military doctrine, India has kept the options open for surgical strikes in response to “terror provocations.”
In the new military doctrine, India has kept the options open for surgical strikes in response to “terror provocations.” Wikimedia Commons
  • The attacks on Indian military bases in Sunjwan, Uri and Pathankot are not routine militancy
  • Like every time, this time also Pakistan denied its hand in the audacious terror attack on the Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sunjwan area
  • A surgical strike can be carried out by sending Special Forces into enemy territory through various channels

On 10 February 2018, the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists barged into the camp of the 36 brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and started firing indiscriminately. The terrorists managed to sneak into the camp from the rear end of the base after a brief exchange of fire with the sentry guarding the periphery. The Sunjwan attack resulted in the death of five Army men, including two junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and the father of a soldier.

The attacks on Indian military bases in Sunjwan, Uri and Pathankot are not routine militancy. They replicate the acts of war. Without reacting in a knee-jerk manner to the terror attack, the Indian Army will come up with a befitting reply, the like of one which army gave after Uri attack.

Also Read: Gurdaspur Attack: Is India well equipped to deal with terror?

Although, intelligence agencies had informed of some kind strike on an Army or security establishment by Jaish-e-Mohammed. The threat was issued in view of the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was hanged on 9 February 2013, for the 2001 attack on Parliament House.

Like every time, this time also Pakistan denied its hand in the audacious terror attack on the Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sunjwan area. On top of that, Pakistan showed the audacity to warn India against conducting cross-border strikes.

Surgical Strike could be achieved by air raids, airdropping special ops teams or a ground operation.
Surgical Strike could be achieved by air raids, airdropping special ops teams or a ground operation. Wikimedia Commons

In the new military doctrine, India has kept the options open for surgical strikes in response to any “terror provocations.” This sends the clear indication to Pakistan that the Indian government was not averse to precision attacks similar to last year’s cross-border strike on militants in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Now the question arises, as to why Pakistan was taken on the backfoot after Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman condemned the attack and vowed to take revenge on the part of fallen heroes of Indian Army.

What is a Surgical Strike?

A surgical strike is meticulously devised swift and calculated strike on the specific target with an aim to neutralize the intended lot while ensuring minimum collateral damage to the surrounding areas. Such neutralization of the targets cut down the possibility of a full-blown war. Surgical strikes are part of India’s response to the ‘Cold War’ strategy followed by Pakistan and has already proved effective in foiling a new infiltration bid by terrorist groups across the LoC (Line of Control).

Also Read: US: Terrorist attack at Pathankot ‘heinous’

How is a Surgical Strike carried out?

A surgical strike can be carried out by sending Special Forces into enemy territory through various channels. It could be achieved by air raids, airdropping special ops teams or a ground operation. All three Indian armed forces, Army, Air Force and Navy have their separate special ops teams. The details operation like surgical strikes is understandably never been revealed by the Indian authorities. External intelligence like Military intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and R&AW are quite vital in carrying out these attacks and these special operation teams work closely with them.

Surgical Strike fulfils the need of a shot in the arm for enemies without causing serious military damage to the other side, thus limiting escalation.
Surgical Strike fulfils the need of a shot in the arm for enemies without causing serious military damage to the other side, thus limiting escalation. Wikimedia Commons

India’s Special Forces carried out surgical strikes against militant camps in Myanmar in June 2015, leaving 38 Naga insurgents dead and on similar lines, a surgical strike on Pakistan’s terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) was carried out. Both the operations had the backing of the central government and India’s muscular response was announced to the world.

Pakistan, however, rubbished India’s claim as a “figment of imagination”.

What is the need for Surgical Strike?

The surgical strike is said to be the best form of attack is political theatre. It fulfils the need of a shot in the arm for enemies without causing serious military damage to the other side, thus limiting escalation.

During the surgical strike on Pakistan, army picked their target well too and struck when the terrorists and Pakistan Army was caught virtually with their pants down. There was nothing wrong with the response which India gave to Pakistan, as the Indian Army struck in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), which rightfully belongs to India and whose freedom is something that India has a direct stake in. n no manner, that part belongs to Pakistan.

Also Read: India Avenges Uri Attack: Indian Army conducts surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan

Again, in a brilliant move, the army chose to target the terrorists who were being pushed into India by Pakistan from the terror launch pads. The international community also stayed united on the offensive surgical strike by Indian Army.

The global community condemns the terror in any form and India hit the terrorist in that manner only. During the crossfire at that time, two Pakistani soldiers were killed as they sought to defend the terrorists. It is no two ways theory that Pakistan army fuel full supports to various dreaded organizations and later pump them into India, in the name of ‘Jihad.’

Surgical strike humiliated Pakistan beyond imagination. It showed them up for their coward acts that they prefer to strike on sleeping people. Although, Pakistan came up with a full denial that any such surgical strike by Indian Army as claimed by India never happened. But it was the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif who admitted the Strike, which was again refuted by Pakistani Army.

During the surgical strike, army picked their target well too and struck when the terrorists and Pakistan Army was caught virtually with their pants down.
During the surgical strike, army picked their target well too and struck when the terrorists and Pakistan Army was caught virtually with their pants down. Wikimedia Commons

Conclusion

If this is the only language that Pakistan wants to talk, the Indian government and armed forces will take no lying down and every miss-adventure from any foreign organization will be dealt with the same fury. Since long, Pakistan has been testing India’s patience level on the doctrine of ‘Cold War’ strategy and now it’s high time that India should make them learn for their intended misjudgements.

Also Read: Pakistan asks India for more evidence regarding 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks

Whether a knife falls on a melon or a melon falls on the knife, it is always the melon that gets cut. In the proxy war waged by Pakistan, it is always the innocent people who have always been the worst sufferers.