New Delhi, Nov 8: Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been spending resources in Jaish-e-Muhammed which has come as a front-runner terror group in Kashmir. Sources close to the developments in Jammu and Kashmir have revealed that terror-group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s ambition to enter politics, by contesting the 2018 general elections as Milli Muslim League (MML), has now made a way for JeM to step up terror attacks in the state. In August 2017, an MML-backed candidate had managed third in the Lahore by-poll.

The reports also have it that JeM chief Masood Azhar, a terrorist under the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, has been holding rallies in Pakistan urging people to join the jihad in Kashmir. In an audio recording of a 105-minute long speech, accessed by TOI, Masood Azhar has threatened more attacks in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Azhar admitted that Jaish-e-Muhammed was behind the BSF camp attack in Srinagar and has been involved in various suicide attacks since its launch in the year 2000. The emergence of JeM was evident on Monday when his nephew, Talha Rashid, was killed with two others in Pulwama. (Also Read: China Calls India Important Neighbour After Blocking Masood Azhar’s Designation as a Global Terrorist)

The Election Commission of Pakistan has rejected MML’s application for registration as a political party. However, it is believed that the candidates backed by the party will manage to run the polls by the time of elections in Pakistan. (Also Read: Will Not Sit Idle Till Masood Azhar Brought to Justice, Says India’s Envoy at UN)

JeM, over last three months, has become one of the top terror-groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir. The numbers have revealed that JeM has targetted Kashmir with three attacks, one attack each against BSF, CRPF, and Army. In fact, JeM has also been at the forefront of killing civilians in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir and grenade throwing at Army camps etc. All these events were “indicators that Jaish has renewed its efforts at gaining supremacy over other groups in the valley”, said a senior counter-insurgency officer in Srinagar.

Munir Khan, IGP Kashmir, said that nearly 16 to 20 JeM terrorists, most of them in the age group of 30s and above, are still active in the valley. “Most of them are battle-hardened from Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In Kashmir, they usually stay in the upper reaches and don’t descend in local habitations of the valley,” a senior officer was quoted as saying by TOI. He also said that the JeM terrorists have been using the Mughal road to infiltrate into the valley during heavy ceasefire violations as the route is easier than Tangdar route.