Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's party has acknowledged "Kashmiri jihadi forces" active in Pakistan as one of key factors driving "terror and lawlessness" within the country. The 'Naya Pakistan Plan', a document posted on the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf's special website created for the May 11 polls, lists six factors in its section on internal security that "drive terror and lawlessness in varying degrees".
These factors are "Taliban resistance movement in Afghanistan; Pakistani Taliban trying to enforce their interpretation of Shariah; Kashmiri jihadi forces working from within Pakistan; sectarian violence, particularly Shia-Sunni killings; ethnic terrorism and violence, for example in Karachi; real and perceived disenfranchisement of Balochistan".
Though anti-India groups like the banned Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Al-Badr Mujahideen openly operate from bases and camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Pakistani political parties have for long been reluctant to acknowledge that such organisations have a presence in the country. Most political parties usually state in their election manifestos that they will support the Kashmiri people in their movement for the right to self-determination.
They also toe the Foreign Office's stated position that Pakistan only extends "political, moral and diplomatic support" to the Kashmiri people. The admission in the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf document is possibly the first time a Pakistani political party has acknowledged the presence of "Kashmiri jihadi forces" within the country.