New York: Sympathies for Lashkar-e-Toiba,
the group involved in Mumbai carnage, and its jihadist and
anti-India culture run deep in the Pakistani establishment,
raising a serious challenge to any long-lasting move to
dismantle the terror network.
The membership of the group banned by US, UN and other
major western nations is estimated at 1.5 lakh strong, the New
York Times reported questioning claims that the Pakistani
establishment had severed ties with the group.
The daily quoted a senior Pakistani ISI officer as
saying that connections between Pakistan`s spy agency and LeT
were so "sundered" that it could not controlled.
But the claims fall flat as the paper quoted
Pakistan`s powerful army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as
having told the US that he was trying to control the LeT.
"They say, we are being more vigilant," but add "By
the way India has to stop messing around in Baluchistan," an
American official privy to the conversation between Washington
and Islamabad said.
The Times said that the overreaching goal of LeT,
which operates under the front of a charity, Jaamat-ud-Dawa,
is the defeat of India and also embraces strong anti-Israeli
LeT adheres to Ahl-i-Hadith, a strain of Wahabi sect
of Islam, which gives it common goal and grounding with groups
like al Qaeda. Bruce Riedel, who framed US`s new Af-Pak policy
says "Laskar-e-Toiba and al Qaeda are allies in the global