A Pakistani terrorist group that’s allied with al Qaida and sends jihadists to Afghanistan to fight U.S. and government troops is building a huge new base in full view of the authorities in Pakistan’s most heavily populated province, locals and officials told McClatchy.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (“Army of Mohammad”), which is linked to a series of atrocities, including an attack on the Indian parliament in Delhi and the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, has walled off a 4.5-acre compound three miles outside the town of Bahawalpur in the far south of the Pakistan’s heartland Punjab province.
Jaish, which the State Department designated a “foreign terrorist organization” in December 2001 and Pakistan banned in 2002, already has a headquarters and a seminary in the town’s center. However, the new facility, surrounded by a high brick and mud wall, has a tiled swimming pool, stabling for more than a dozen horses, an ornamental fountain and even swings and a slide for children. [continued…]
Two months after the Pakistani Army wrested control of the Swat Valley from Taliban militants, a new campaign of fear has taken hold, with scores, perhaps hundreds, of bodies dumped on the streets in what human rights advocates and local residents say is the work of the military.
In some cases, people may simply have been seeking revenge against the ruthless Taliban, in a society that tends to accept tit-for-tat reprisals, local politicians said.
But the scale of the retaliation, the similarities in the way that many of the victims have been tortured and the systematic nature of the deaths and disappearances in areas that the military firmly controls have led local residents, human rights workers and some Pakistani officials to conclude that the military has had a role in the campaign. [continued…]