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.


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

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