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Pak driver's 'jihadi' brother killed in Kashmir: report

Source: PTI
March 07, 2009 01:07 IST
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Shakil, the younger brother of Pakistani driver Mehar Mohammed Khalil praised for his quick thinking that saved Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore's terror attack, was a "jihadi" killed by Indian security forces in Kashmir in anti-militancy operation in 1995, a news report has said. "In 1995 his younger brother, Shakil, was killed fighting for a jihadist militant group in Indian-administered Kashmir," The Times newspaper reported.

According to the report, Khalil welcomed his well wishers in the backdrop of "a photograph of his dead brother, with a Kalashnikov rifle over his shoulder, a camouflage cap on his head and a radio in one hand". Printed in Urdu across the photograph were the words 'Mujahid martyred in Kashmir. Died in Udampur, India, 25 August 1995. Codename Abdullah.' the report said.

As he spoke, a relative whisked away the photograph of his dead brother. "He is also a supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami", the Islamist political party "that wants to impose Sharia across Pakistan and to use the army to kick India out of Kashmir", the British daily said. But like most Pakistanis, Khalil was also unwilling to consider the possibility that the attackers were home-grown. "Their complexions were Indian-type," he said. "They were definitely not Pakistani. Foreign forces are involved in this," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Pakistan Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik had ruled out the involvement of India or the Tamil Tigers in the Lahore incident. He said al-Qaeda could have been involved in the attack. According to a Pakistani media report, the preliminary investigations into the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team have suggested that Lashkar-e-Tayiba activists, who went underground after a crackdown on the group last year, could have carried out the assault.

The initial probe suggested that a group of "headstrong" LeT activists, who went underground and hid in the garrison city of Rawalpindi after the crackdown on the terrorist group and its front organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawah, had acted on its own and carried out the attack, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

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