Next wave of 400 Jaish terrorists for Kashmir could be from its Afghan camps
Counter-terror officials in Delhi and Kabul on Tuesday confirmed that the Jaish-e-Mohammed had already readied 400 fighters at these camps and had recently deployed them to fight along with the Taliban.Updated: May 05, 2020, 22:45 IST
Jaish-e-Mohammed, the UN designated terror group that targets Jammu and Kashmir, has readied 400 terrorists at its training camps in Afghanistan who have been deployed with Taliban units before they are sent to Kashmir valley, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.
As first reported by Hindustan Times, Afghan forces had discovered one of Jaish’s terror camps quite by chance last month when they were out on a counter-terrorist mission on April 12. Initial interrogation of the terrorists arrested in this operation, however, have led Indian security agencies to conclude that there were half-a-dozen more camps.
Counter-terror officials in Delhi and Kabul said the Jaish-e-Mohammed had already readied 400 fighters at these camps set up after the Taliban signed the 29 February pact with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.
The pact, which requires the Afghan forces and the Taliban to release prisoners from the other side, paves the way for the US and other foreign forces to quit Afghanistan.
“Jaish cadres have been deployed with Taliban units in areas between Khost to Jalalabad in east Afghanistan and also in areas close to the Pakistan border in Kandahar province,” a counter terror official in Kabul confirmed.
Officials said the synergy between the Taliban and the Jaish-e-Mohammed - some intel reports say the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba have also sent its cadres for training to the Jaish camps - is being anchored by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence.
Zerar, one of the Jaish operatives arrested by the Afghan forces in follow-up action, has told interrogators that the training base busted by the forces were being “trained, equipped and supported by Pakistan military personnel”. Many of them, he said, had escaped in the fire cover provided by Pakistan military personnel to help them escape. Zerar, identified as a resident of Pakistan capital Islamabad, was among them. He was arrested three days later, on April 15.
The terror group founded by Maulana Masood Azhar is being run by his younger brother Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar since Masood Azhar, who was designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations last year, has been terminally ill.
Diplomats in Kabul say Masood Azhar’s elder brother, Ibrahim Azhar, has been spotted in Ghazni city in central Afghanistan, possibly in context of the effort to deepen ties with the Taliban.
The training camps remain under overall charge of Mufti Asghar Kashmiri, commander of Jaish’s Kashmir operations who has been spotted around terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The Afghan war veteran Mufti Asghar Kashmiri, who was once with the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, oversees the operational aspects of the infiltration from Leepa valley that leads to Kupwara in north Kashmir and has been the favoured route for terrorists over the last few weeks.
In the two-day operation that gave security officials an insight into the extent of Jaish presence in Afghanistan, Afghan security officials had targeted a Jaish-e-Mohammed base set up in coordination with Taliban in the Ghorak-e-Mohmand area of Momand Dara, a district in the east of Nangarhar Province near the Durand Line across Torkham was demolished. At least 14 Jaish cadres were killed and a weapons depot destroyed.