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United Jihad Council
Muttahida Jihad Council [MJC]

Indian security forces in Kashmir confront at least a dozen major insurgent groups of varying size and ideological orientation. The more prominent groups include the secular pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the radical Islamic and pro-Pakistani groups Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), Hizbollah, Harkat-ul-Ansar, and Ikhwanul Muslimeen. In the summer of 1994 Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence organized thirteen leading organizations into the United Jihad Council [Muttahida Jihad Council - MJC] under Commander Manzur Shah, the leader of Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, the largest Jihad group operating in Kashmir. The council aims at joining forces and resources to improve in defeating the occupiers. Among the member organizations: Harakat-ul-Ansar, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Jihad, Al-Barq, Ikhwan-ul-Mussalmin, Tariq-ul-Mujahideen. By early 1999 as many as fifteen organizations were affiliated with the Council, though of these only five were considered influential: Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Badar and Tehrik-i-Jihad.

The United Jihad Council was the primary public voice of the Mujahideen in the Kargil offensive. Pakistan backed the guerrillas in a bid to change the cease-fire line through the territory. The United Jihad Council, including four fighting in the Kargil mountains, said the guerrillas would not leave the area because it is their homeland. The Pakistani government pullback of its troops and allied Kashmiri secessionist and Taliban fighters from the Kargil-Dass-Batalik region of Indian-held Kashmir in July 1999 caused considerable criticism of the Pakistani government, and contributed to the military coup of October 1999.

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Updated Monday, October 25, 1999 3:23:45 PM