Jaish-e-Muhammad reassumes public activity
Islamabad: After remaining underground for a decade since being banned in 2001, the Pakistan-based jihadi group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has reportedly resumed full-scale public activity, including fundraising, while security agencies appear to be overlooking its ‘resurgence’.
The JeM is in the process of regaining its traditional physical and financial strength, which had dissipated during the ten-year ban imposed by the then military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Jaish activists and intelligence officials told a newspaper.
The jihadi group is working on a plan to reach out to its activists who had abandoned the organisation after it came on the radar after being implicated in an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001, they added.
The JeM is trying to consolidate avenues for fundraising, individual charity from within Pakistan and donations from Gulf states, which were partially blocked during the ban by the country’s security agencies.
As a first step, an activist said, it had revived its charity- Al-Rehmat Trust- the group’s humanitarian wing once run by Master Allah Baksh, the father of Jaish founding chief Maulana Masood Azhar, till his death last year.
Maulana Ashfaq Ahmed, who is affiliated with the trust as its coordinator, said that government agencies have never obstructed the trust’s fundraising in either Punjab or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,
When asked why, he remarked: “You can put this question to the government and its agencies. We operate on the ground. We have a visible presence.”
Officials of law enforcement agencies in Punjab said they had never received orders for a crackdown on the trust since it was not banned by the Interior Ministry.
“Provincial authorities can only ban organisations proscribed by the federal government. Otherwise, they can take us to court,” said Senator Pervez Rasheed, an adviser to the Punjab Government.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik was not available for comment on why an organisation using the name of Jaish chief and sharing its headquarters had not been banned.