Pakistani militant group easily evades ban

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 13:52

Lahore: Long-haired jihadis toting automatic
weapons patrolled a mosque last week as the cleric who heads
the militant network blamed for the Mumbai attacks preached
inside. The group`s supporters collected funds in the
courtyard and later marched through this eastern Pakistani
city, calling for the death of those who insult Islam.

Pakistan announced a ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa -- sealing the
group`s offices, freezing assets and rounding up leaders --
amid international outrage after the 2008 siege of the Indian
financial capital. But the group has scored a few wins in
court against the government and is up and running again,
exposing Islamabad`s unwillingness to fully crack down on
militants who target India.

The resurgence of the group could chill the first round
of peace talks between Pakistan and India since the attacks.
India is insisting the negotiations tomorrow to focus on
Pakistan`s efforts to rein in groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa;
Pakistan wants all issues, including Kashmir, to be on the
table.

The US has urged the two nuclear-armed nations to resume
dialogue despite Indian concerns about the Pakistan`s
crackdown on militants. Both nations mobilised troops to their
shared border as tensions spiked following Mumbai. Another
major attack by Pakistani militants on Indian soil would put
New Delhi under intense domestic pressure to mount a military
response.

India, the US and the UN allege Jamaat is the front group
for Lashkar-e-Taiba, which they charge carried out the attacks
in November 2008 that killed 166 people in Mumbai.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 13:52

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