Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar has urged the Pakistan government to allow jihadists groups to escalate their operations against India. He warned that if Islamabad did not act decisive in this regard, it would lose a “historic opportunity” to seize Kashmir. His opinion was published in the outfit’s weekly Urdu magazine al-Qalam, which The Indian Express quoted from in English.
He said the Kashmir issue and the water dispute between India and Pakistan would be resolved immediately if the Nawaz Sharif government “showed some courage”. Azhar wrote, “If nothing else, the government simply has to open the path for the mujahideen. Then, god willing, all the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016.”
Azhar tried to build a case for militant groups by pointing out that Pakistan’s policy to back them in the 1990s had reaped strategic dividends for the country. He said India was left with “every one of its limbs badly injured”. He said, “What remained of its military prowess was exposed in Pathankot and Uri.”
He argued that Pakistan should have been the one pressuring India in the wake of the situation in Kashmir. “We should have cancelled the Saarc conference ourselves, and cancelled the ceasefire on the Line of Control. In the last ninety days, how many Muslims have been martyred, and how many more injured?” Azhar said.
He said the "jihadist movement" in Kashmir has affected the India significantly. “Consider India before and after the jihad in Kashmir. You will see a dramatic difference. In the course of this journey, which I have been an eyewitness to, I have seen India reduced from a serpent to an earthworm.”
Indian believes that the attack on an army installation in Kashmir's Uri was carried out by Azhar's group, which is based out of Pakistan. The attack that took place on September 18 and left 19 soldiers dead. India also blames the JeM for the Pathankot air base attack in January, though the Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for it at the time.