Islamabad: Leaders of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group delivered lectures on the campus of the University of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan though the varsity`s rules do not permit such gatherings.
Maulana Mufti Abdur Rehman and Maulana Hifzullah of the JeM, which is based at Bahawalpur in Punjab, visited the northwestern university as part of the group`s drive. "Two persons delivered speeches outside Madina Mosque in the university to a group of about 60 people. Their speeches centred on efforts to invite people towards jihad," a student who listened to the speeches told Dawn newspaper.
JeM has been designated as a Pakistan-based terrorist group by the US and the UN.
A day before the visit of the JeM leaders, posters were put up on the campus, asking students to attend a lecture by activists of the group "led by Maulana Mohammad Masood Azhar" after `Isha` prayer at Madina Mosque.
The administration failed to take any action and ban their entry into the campus, officials of the University of Peshawar said.
Both JeM leaders blamed the US and its allies for Pakistan`s problems and urged people to stand up against what "anti-Islam forces" and to foil their attempts to subdue Muslims, said a lecturer who did not want to be named.
The JeM leaders distributed literature outlining their agenda, the lecturer said.
Both JeM leaders blamed the US for the recent desecration of the Quran at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan and said such acts were not permissible and should be avoided in future, a police official told the daily.
He said the leaders asked people to deposit Rs 90 each so they could be sent literature every month.
"Our activists would not allow the enemies to cause disturbance in areas populated by Muslims such as the Indian-held Kashmir," one of the speakers was quoted as saying by the police official.
Campus police chief Abdul Salam Khalid told Dawn that police required written directives from the university’s administration for all actions and could not act on their own. Khalid acknowledged police had no knowledge of the JeM’s programme and the "question of action didn`t arise".
Fazle Hadi, registrar of the University of Peshawar, said such lectures were illegal according to the university’s rules. He said the administration learnt about the gathering abruptly.
Members of terror groups have been visiting the campus housing four universities - University of Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology, Agricultural University and Islamia College University - since September last year, when a small group of Taliban drove to the campus in two pickup trucks and collected donations in the mosque.