By Lalit K Jha
Washington, Nov 14 (PTI) Much of the violence in Kashmir is tied to organisations linked to separatist outfit Jamat-e-Islami and its partners, an influential US lawmaker has said, noting that the group has committed acts of violence against minority groups, including Hindus and Christians.
Congressman Jim Banks made the comments while addressing a seminar hosted by the Middle East Forum at the US Capitol on Wednesday. The programme was organised in association with South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation.
Jamat-e-Islami is a violent, theocratic group that has committed violent acts against minority Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Ahmadis, he said.
The Republican Congressman from Indiana said that “much of the violence in Kashmir is linked to the organisations linked to Jamat-e-Islami and its terrorist partners”.
India had earlier this year banned the Jamat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for five years under the anti-terror law on grounds that it was "in close touch" with militant outfits and was supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.
Referring to the activities of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Banks said that it is a thinly veiled partner group of Jamat-e-Islami within the US.
The ICNA invites Jamat operatives to its conferences to raise funds to support group's cause, he said.
“We must prevent the spread of this threat before it starts impacting Americans at home. I introduced HR-160 resolution earlier this year, and this bipartisan resolution calls on the USAID and State Department to refrain from any partnership with organisations affiliated with radical Islamist groups,” Banks concluded.
In her address, Abha Shankar of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism presented the findings of her organisation's extensive research about the close links between the Jamat-e-Islami and the ICNA.
South Asia Minority Alliance Chairman Nadeem Nusrat who also heads Voice of Karachi, said that no other religious group did more to radicalize Pakistan religiously than Jamat-e-Islami.
This group also played an abhorring role to suppress the freedom movement in the former East Pakistan (Bangladesh), where its affiliated terror groups- al-Badr and al-Shams- actively participated along with Pakistani military in the massacre of nearly three million Bengalis, he alleged.
South Asia expert Seth Oldmixon highlighted the role of the outfit in promoting and exporting religious extremism and terrorism on a global scale and warned of the dangers of ignoring its activities and its affiliates in North America. PTI LKJ RS AKJ RS