More LT, Jaish activists arrested

Published January 7, 2002

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: Pakistan detained on Sunday yet more members of Kashmir militant groups at the centre of a military standoff between Pakistan and India as diplomatic moves intensified to defuse tension between the nuclear neighbours.

Representatives of the two militant Muslim groups battling forces in occupied Kashmir said police in several southern districts of central Punjab province raided mosques, homes and offices searching for activists and guns.

“Police entered our homes, insulting our elders and women. They searched our homes for weapons and messed everything up,” said a spokesman for the Jaish-i-Mohammad group, Hassan Burki.

Officials from the two Kashmiri groups, the other being Lashkar-i-Taiba, said in all 57 of their members were picked up in raids late on Saturday and on Sunday. At least 32 Jaish members were among the detainees, Burki said.

Burki said Pakistan was bowing to pressure from India and the international community.

“All this is being done to please India and Blair,” he remarked.

A provincial official confirmed the latest round of some 60 detentions, saying the activists were being picked up on the instructions of the federal government.

India blamed Jaish and another Pakistan-based Kashmiri rebel group, Lashkar-i-Taiba, for a bloody attack on parliament in the Indian capital on Dec 13. — Reuters

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