Jaish-e-Mohammed, Pakistan's terror weapon aimed at India
Launched in 2000 in Karachi by Maulana Masood Azhar, JeM has looked at crafting a name for itself at India's expense in the ghastly world of global terrorism.
Almost immediately after a cowardly terror attack on a CRPF convoy in J&K's Awantipora on Thursday afternoon, Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility. Infamous for its dastardly attacks, JeM operates from Pakistan and with active support - a clear contradiction to Islamabad's hollow claims of standing for peace.
Thursday's brazen attack and the speed with which it was claimed by JeM once again points at the patronage it enjoys in a country known widely for being a terror state. The South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) has listed JeM as a terror outfit formed in Pakistan and one that receives support - in terms of funds, weapons and training - from the country's spy agency ISI.
Security analysts also mostly agree that no terrorist organisation can function with as much impunity as JeM does unless state actors provide support and cover.
Launched in 2000 in Karachi by Maulana Masood Azhar, JeM has looked at crafting a name for itself at India's expense in the ghastly world of global terrorism. Its formation was endorsed by three religious school chiefs, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai of the Majlis-e-Tawan-e-Islami (MT), Maulana Mufti Rashid Ahmed of the Dar-ul Ifta-e-wal-Irshad and Maulana Sher Ali of the Sheikh-ul-Hadith Dar-ul Haqqania, according to SATP.
With an anti-India agenda and with the threat of jihad, the JeM has issued repeated threats against many Indian leaders including former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Backed by support in Pakistan and a lack of accountability, JeM's first massive operation against India was the 2001 Parliament attacks which left 14 dead - including the five terrorists.
While since then, JeM was suspected to be behind or to have supported several attacks in J&K, its next big attack was directed against the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in 2016. It left seven security personnel dead.
While India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to check on JeM and take strong measures against it, Pakistan has not only failed to do so but continues to support the outfit which sees the separation of Kashmir from India as its final objective. Even India's attempts to get the United Nations to ban Masood Azhar has been thwarted so far by China at Pakistan's behest.
Little wonder then that the occasional investigations against prominent leaders of the group - including Masood Azhar - have been embarrassingly hollow and ineffective. They walk in Pakistan with absolute freedom while being responsible for snuffing out countless innocent lives even as they attempt to also radicalise the Kashmiri youth.