Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

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Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is a Pakistani group, banned by the government for terrorism. Its long-term goal is to make Pakistan a Salafist state; in the shorter term, it engages in violence against Pakistani Shi'a.

It broke away, in 1996, from Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) claiming the parent did not follow the ideals of its slain co-founder, Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi. It is from Maulana Jhangvi that the LeJ derives its name. Proscribed by United Nations Security Council Resolution, it is also listed as a terrorist organization by the governments of the UK, the US, Canada and Pakistan. It is also known as: Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Jhangvie, Laskar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkare Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Jhangwi, Lashkar-i-Jhangwi, Jhangvi Army, Lashkar Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Jhanvi, Lashkar-i-Jangvi, Lashkar e Jhangvi, Lashkar Jangvi, Laskar e Jahangvi [1]

Still, the two have common beliefs and goals, although the SSP also has explored political as well as terrorist methods. Both are closely tied to the Taliban."The SSP leadership has never criticised the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi because the two organisations share the same sectarian belief system and worldview. They also have a similar charter of demands, which includes turning Pakistan into a Sunni state. Both the outfits have consistently resorted to violence and killings to press their demands, though the SSP has also been attempting to adopt a political path. The SSP and LeJ have very close links with the Taliban." [2]

Indeed, it was called, in 2007, the militant wing of SSP; the author suggests it may be a proxy or associate of al-Qaeda. Both LeJ and Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) are members of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF) for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People. Both oppose the US, Israel and India, but the LeT is not anti-Iran or anti-Sh'ia. Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) is also part of the IIF and is also anti-Shi'a. [3]

At the present, they are active in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as well as in the cities. [4] While LeT avoids attacks on security forces, both LeJ and JAM do. Its current leader is reportedly Qari Zafar of Karachi, who has been linked to al-Qaeda, and probably took over after the 4 February 2007 arrest of former leader Rizwan Ahmad in Lahore. "LeJ is estimated to have around 300 active members. It maintains a multi-cellular structure, made up of loosely co-ordinated regional sub-units, further divided into several small cells of five to eight members each that operate independently of one another."[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ), Australian National Security
  2. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, South Asia Terrorism Portal
  3. B. Raman (10 November 2007), "The New Trojan Horse of al-Qaeda", International Terrorism Monitor, Paper 301
  4. Amir Rana (5 August 2009), "Enemy of the state - Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and militancy in Pakistan", Jane's Intelligence Review