US wants probe into presence of Pak jehadis in Afghanistan

The US has asked Pakistan`s Interior Ministry to conduct a probe into Pakistani jehadis, including Lashker-e-Taiba operatives, joining militant groups in Afghanistan to attack NATO and allied forces, a media report said today.

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2010, 16:22 PM IST

Islamabad: The US has asked Pakistan`s
Interior Ministry to conduct a probe into Pakistani jehadis, including Lashker-e-Taiba operatives, joining militant groups
in Afghanistan to attack NATO and allied forces, a media report said today.

The US has sought a probe into Pakistani militants
joining rebel groups in Afghanistan, especially in Kunar
province, unnamed Interior Ministry officials were quoted as
saying by the Daily Times newspaper.

NATO and International Security Assistance Force
commanders in Afghanistan have confirmed the presence of
"modern and sophisticated Punjabi Taliban" in Kunar province.

These elements are a "more militant section of the
Pakistan-backed Lashker-e-Taiba" that has broken away from the
group and refused to take orders from LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad
Saeed, the report claimed.

The report also quoted an unnamed former spy chief as
saying "that the new rogue part of Jamaat-ud-Dawah fighting in
Pakistan could well be those who were behind 26/11 in Mumbai,
you never know".

The group that split from the LeT comprises members of
the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen and the breakaway Kairun Naas
faction of the LeT that was formed by the more fanatical
Ahl-e-Hadith, which organised the 1990 Kashmir Conference that
was attended by Hafiz Saeed and Sajid Mir, the report claimed.

The report claimed there were two reasons for the
split ? Pakistani intelligence agencies have decided to split
jehadi groups as part of a policy to make them weaker, and
sectarian and ideological tensions within the Ahl-e-Hadith
faction about the concept of jehad as the more fanatical group
fighting in Afghanistan is closer to Arab mujahideen.

In the past, a faction split from the LeT`s front
organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawah in 2004, when armed clashes broke out in its headquarters and the breakaway Kairun Naas faction vowed to kill Hafiz Saeed.
Saeed had joined the Afghan jihad late in 1987 on the
insistence of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the operational commander
of the LeT who is currently in jail after being arrested on
charges of planning and facilitating the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The report further claimed that the organisational
structure of the JuD and LeT were hurt by accusations from
within the groups about Saeed`s involvement in nepotism and
corruption, his second marriage with a dead militant`s widow.
Saeed also appointed his brother-in-law Maulana Abdul
Rehman Makki as second in command of the JuD and this did not
go down well with other militant commanders, especially
Lakhvi, as it was seen as an attempt by Saeed to control the
finances of the JuD.

PTI