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Pune attack Lashkar's attempt to scuttle India-Pak talks?

By Vicky Nanjappa
February 14, 2010 13:57 IST
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Terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which runs the Indian Mujahideen in India, had shown keen interest in Pune just two weeks back.

The Lashkar, which also calls itself the Jamaat-ud-Duwah, held an open meeting at Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last week allegedly to discuss the Kashmir issue.
During the meeting, the JuD had made it clear that their battle would largely revolve around Kashmir, but in the coming days they wanted to make a mark in cities such as Pune and New Delhi.

During the rally, Rehman Makki, the deputy leader of the outfit, had said that both Pune and New Delhi were fair targets.

The Intelligence Bureau says that the Lashkar has always tried to cast a shadow when India and Pakistan agree for talks.

During the last meeting and also on several occasions in the past, the Lashkar had made its displeasure very clear on this issue. The Lashkar leadership has always believed that it should get Kashmir by force and that India enters into talks only when it feels it is losing the battle in Kashmir.

Prior to the 26/11 attack, Asif Ali Zardari had sent feelers to India that Pakistan is ready for talks. However, the talks fell flat following the attack.

If one looks at the Pune blasts, it is clear that the Lashkar was trying to disrupt the forthcoming talks between the two countries. During the last meeting of the JuD, Makki had expressed his displeasure over the talks between India and Pakistan.

He had said that the Indian government was trying to scuttle the victory of his jihadis in Kashmir by going in for talks. The Lashkar leadership has never believed in talks and quotes the example of former Pakistani president Pervez Musharaf while stating that he had tried to talk to India for several years, but had go nothing in return.

IB officials point out that the Lashkar was trying to set up a very strong base in Pune, as it was a strategic point for them. Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Pune have been preferred hubs of the Indian Mujahideen since the past two years.

While the Kerala module was aimed at south India operations, the Uttar Pradesh modules were intended to keep a watch on New Delhi. The Pune modules were set up to spread havoc in cities such as Mumbai, the IB adds.

For more on the Pune blast, click here!

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru