New Delhi: Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has been caught on tape boasting that four Pakistani mujahideen carried out Monday’s attack on an Indian Army facility in Akhnoor, with the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder describing it as a “surgical strike”.
Saeed, who now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah that has been designated a front for the LeT by the US, was recorded while speaking at a gathering of hundreds of JuD operatives at Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, on Wednesday.
Though Saeed spoke of an attack on an “Indian Army camp”, a camp of the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), located barely 2 km from the Line of Control (LoC) in Akhnoor, was targeted by terrorists. Three casual labourers of GREF were killed and another injured in the attack.
“Four young men, day before yesterday in the evening, entered the camp at Akhnoor, Jammu. I am talking about something recent, it’s not an old event, it happened two days ago,” Saeed is heard saying in Urdu in the tape running little more than two minutes.
“They entered the army camp, the young men say they cleaned up 10 camps of Indian troops and all four of them returned safe and secure, they were not harmed. Yeh eik kirdar hai, yeh hai surgical strike,” he said.
Saeed, who did not say whether the attackers belonged to the LeT, boasted that this was a response to the surgical strikes carried out by Indian special forces in retaliation for a terror attack on an army in Uri last September.
“Modi also talked about a surgical strike, I had replied to Modi. Nawaz Sharif doesn’t reply to Modi, I reply to Modi, by the grace of God. And he (Modi) only accepts my reply, not the reply of anyone else,” he said.
“I said Modi you made a false claim, Indian troops are being dropped by helicopter and they ran a movie. They are very good at making magnificent movies. Movies are one thing, fighting is another, so they ran a movie about carrying out surgical strikes, we crossed the border and killed 40 jawans of Lashkar-e-Taiba and went back. This was a drama, a film made to fool the world.”
Saeed added, “But you have given an opportunity and the mujahideen will tell you what is a surgical strike…I am telling you about the strike carried out two days ago, in a place like Jammu where they say nobody dares to enter. Four mujahid entered the camp, cleaned up 10 rooms and killed 30 soldiers. They destroyed the camp, burnt it and all four came back safely.”
Saeed is wanted by India for his alleged role in masterminding the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 in November 2008. Though he was briefly placed under house arrest after the assault on India’s financial hub by LeT operatives, he was freed soon after by the Lahore high court.