An alliance of Kashmiri Mujahideen groups rejected on Wednesday reports that the attack on Pathankot airbase had been carried out by Jaish-i-Mohammad, a banned militant outfit blamed for the 2001 attack on Indian parliament. “It’s just a false impression.
In fact the attackers are a squad of mujahideen drawn from different member outfits in our alliance,” said Shaikh Jameelur Rehman, secretary general of the United Jihad Council (UJC), the conglomerate that brings together over a dozen groups, struggling to overthrow Indian rule in Kashmir.
Jaish-i-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba enjoy observer status in UJC. “All attackers are local Kashmiris, based in India-held Jammu and Kashmir. And they have been facilitated by local Hindu, Sikh and Muslim officers,” Mr Rehman said in reply to a question by Dawn. He said that since the attackers were stationed in areas along the national highway in India, they were referred to as `National Highway Squad’. Mr Rehman said the attack on the airbase was in line with what he called the ‘code of conduct’ of Kashmiri fighters. “We have not hit any civilian but a military installation.
Indian troops are killing us and wherever we find any of them we will hit and kill him,” he said. Mr Rehman said that since the peace process between India and Pakistan did not protect the Kashmiris from massacres they (Kashmiris) were not bothered about it. “When our lives, honour and properties are not safe and when our genocide continues with impunity…why should we bother about the peace process?” he said. When this correspondent contacted Mufti Asghar Kashmiri, in-charge of Jaish-i-Mohammad in Jammu and Kashmir, for his comment, he said: “Those who have carried it out have also claimed the responsibility for that…That’s all.”