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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

After Kashmir, JeM now turns focus on Pakistan’s sectarian conflicts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 10, 2013
First Published: 00:46 IST(10/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:48 IST(10/2/2013)

The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the principal terrorist organisation in Jammu and Kashmir, keeps a low profile in Pakistan with its attention now focused more on the country’s internal sectarian conflict, say observers.

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Maulana Masood Azhar is the founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, based mainly in the Pakistan-administered portion of the state of Kashmir.

He rarely appears in public and has been renamed as the Khuddam-e Islam.

Azhar is usually present at the Difa-e-Pakistan council rallies but his public appearances, compared to Hafiz Saeed of the JuD, are extremely rare.

The organisation is based in south Punjab where it has a seminary and affiliated schools.

Analysts say the JeM has also massacred several Shias in Pakistan. In 2012, the interior minister of Pakistan had named the JeM as one of two banned outfits behind the killing of Shias in the country.

The outfit continues to have close links with the ISI but of late, due to its activities within the country, seems to have fallen out of favour with the security establishment.

Guru was found guilty of conspiring with and sheltering militants, who attacked the Indian Parliament in December 2001, and of being a member of the banned Islamist group, the Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The JeM’s primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and it has carried out several attacks primarily in Indian-administered Kashmir, where a separatist conflict has cost up to 100,000 lives since the insurgency began in 1989, according to rights' groups.

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