Jama’at-ud-Dawa leader Abdul Rehman last week offered funeral prayers for a terrorist of Lashkar-e-Taiba, who was killed during fighting the Indian Army in Kashmir. According to posters, banners and eyewitness, the Indian Express reported that the homage to the terrorist was given before a crowd of hundreds in Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
Rehman is also the brother-in-law of the jailed chief of Jama’at-ud-Dawa Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. The gathering for the funeral on July 6 provides fresh evidence that the Lashkar-e-Taiba, banned under the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions and Pakstan law, continues to enjoy the luxury of operating in plain sight despite a hyped crackdown on its top leadership.
Posters for the Ghaibana Namaaz-e-Janazah — funeral prayers held when the body of the deceased is unavailable — state that the event was held in memory of Abu Muhammad Yaqoob, the son of Kot Noora resident Muhammad Nawaz, “martyred fighting the Indian Army while performing Ghazwa-e-Hind”.
Ghazwa-e-Hind refers to a set of five theologically contentious prophecies attributed to Prophet Muhammad, predicting a victorious war to capture India that will precede the apocalypse.
The posters and banner placed over the city, announced that Bahawalpur-born Makki would deliver his address at Basti Kot Noora after the evening prayers. Kot Noora, commonly known as Noorey ki Goth, is one of Bahawalpur’s new suburb and is home to lower-middle income, ethnic Saraiki traders. This section of the society is the key target fro the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s recruitment campaigns.
During the funeral oration, an eyewitness present at the function said,”Makki vowed to defy ongoing efforts to rein in the Jama’at-ud-Dawa, which he described as an international conspiracy, and committed to continue supporting the ‘jihad’ in Kashmir.” He also took expressed his frustration for the “lecherous and debased” US President Donald Trump for killing Muslims, and plotting to destroy the Kashmir struggle. As per the report, the eyewitness qouted Makki as saying,”Earlier, Kashmiris were divided on what they wanted, but today every martyr’s flag is draped with the flag of Pakistan. We want the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir to be implemented, and for it to be freed from Hindu rule.”
Meanwhile, last month, Pakistan’s junior minister for interior, narcotics control and education attended a ceremony where the Jama’at-ud-Dawa’s charitable wing, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), donated ambulances to the Bahawal Victoria Hospital after an oil-tanker accident killed at least 190 people in Bahawalpur. The minister did so even though the FIF is listed by the UNSC as a proxy organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba, in what Indian diplomats said is a demonstration of the Jama’at-ud-Dawa’s abiding clout with elements of Pakistan’s army and Punjab province’s Islamist-leaning middle-class.