Islamabad: The Taliban and a faction of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) have stepped up efforts to recruit
youths from Punjab for militant operations in northwest
Pakistan, a secret US cable released by WikiLeaks has said.
The cable sent in March 2009 by Bryan Hunt, then the
top diplomat in the US Consulate in Lahore, states that
"growing extremist activity" in Faisalabad coincided with a
number of visits to the city by activists of the
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and a "splinter group from the
southern Punjab-based Jaish-e-Muhammad".
The cable is largely based on information provided by
a Faisalabad-based Deobandi scholar whose named was removed
from the cable by WikiLeaks and media outlets for security
The scholar met Hunt to discuss his concerns regarding
the increased extremist activity in Faisalabad, Punjab
province`s second-largest city.
The scholar told Hunt there had been a "dramatic
increase in propaganda activities from Sipah-e-Sahaba
Pakistan" in Faisalabad.
He said he believed this increase coincided with
visits by Taliban and JeM activists.
The militant activists were "involved in recruiting
for TTP militant operations in the (tribal areas) and NWFP
through madrassas in southern Punjab and hoped to replicate
that success in Faisalabad," the cable said.