Small Wars Journal

The Lashkar's Empire of Jihad

The Lashkar's Empire of Jihad by C. Christine Fair, India Today

… The Pakistan army and the intelligence agency it runs, the Interservices Intelligence Directorate or ISI, did not create the LeT; but they did believe that LeT, with its demonstrable superior capabilities, would intensify the conflict in Kashmir and expand the geographical expanse of the insurgency.  From the early 1990s, the ISI and the Pakistan army invested heavily in LeT.  The army helped to build LeT's military apparatus specifically for use against India and it designed LeT' military training regime. It co-located army and ISI personnel at LeT training bases to help execute the regime and to train the organization's trainers and this remains true to date. All senior leadership have ISI handlers, even Saeed himself.

Pakistan's investments paid off:  within a few years LeT became the biggest challenge to the Indian security forces in Kashmir prior to the introduction of the Jaish-e-Mohammad many years later. In 1999 LeT introduced a new kind of attack in Indian-administered Kashmir: the fidayeen attack (also spelled fedayeen). By introducing the fidayeen attack, the LeT and its Pakistani handlers aimed to reverse a three-year decline in militant activity in Indian-administered Kashmir. LeT's fidayeen missions are not "suicide attacks;" rather, high-risk missions in which well-trained commandos engage in fierce combat during which dying is preferable to being captured…

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