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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ISLAMABAD15769
2005-10-20 13:07:00
SECRET
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE: ISLAMIST AND EXTREMIST

Tags:   AEMR  ASEC  EAID  MASS  PGOV  PREL  PTER  PK 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 015769 

SIPDIS

DEPT - PLEASE PASS TO USAID
KABUL- PLEASE PASS TO CFC-A

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2015
TAGS: AEMR ASEC EAID MASS PGOV PREL PTER PK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE: ISLAMIST AND EXTREMIST
GROUPS ENGAGE IN RELIEF EFFORT

REF: A. (A) ISLAMABAD 15736

B. (B) ISLAMABAD 15463

Classified By: Derived from DSCG 05-01, d



1. (S) Summary: Islamist parties, clergy, and
militant/extremist groups are using the Kashmir earthquake to
strengthen their public image in affected areas...and to
raise money. Member parties of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal
(MMA) are engaged in independent relief efforts through their
charitable foundations. Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), the parent
organization of designated FTO Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LT) and
most visible extremist group currently involved in relief
operations, has already received favorable media coverage.
In keeping with its long-standing practice, JUD will likely
funnel a portion of charitable contributions for earthquake
relief to support militant operations. A number of Muslim
charities are also engaged in relief efforts, most
prominently Islamic Relief, which while not yet designated as
a specially designated national and blocked person has been
monitored by the USG for some time. End Summary.



2. (S) The Islamist parties comprising the MMA are engaged in
fundraising for earthquake relief through their charitable
foundations. Most prominent MMA leaders have already
traveled to the earthquake zone for well-publicized tours.
Al-Khidmat, the Jamaat-e-Islami's (JI) charitable arm, is
most prominent in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), while it shares
the stage in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) with
Al-Khair, Jamiate Ulema-e-Islam Fazlur Rehman's (JUI-F)
charitable wing. JI officials privately claimed to have
raised nearly $5 million for relief. (Note: Post believes
this figure is exaggerated.) Both have established clinics
and distribution points for blankets, food, water, and
over-the-counter medicine. JI and JUI-F have used their
charitable arms to raise funds for terrorist/militant
organizations in the past. JUI-F seems to have severed its
financial relations with such organizations, although the JI
link with the FTO Hizbul Mujahideen may still exist and a
portion of funds may be diverted there. Officials from
Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) and Tehrike Islami Pakistan (TIP)
admitted that their parties' relief efforts have been
miniscule, but claimed that they were a necessary and
effective public relations tool.



3. (S) JUD is the most visible militant group engaged in
relief operations, although we understand that
Jaish-i-Muhammad, Harakat-ul-Mujahadeen,
Harakat-ul-Jihad-i-Islam, and Hizbul Mujahideen have all
launched smaller efforts. Sectarian extremist groups
Sipah-i-Mohammad, Sipah-i-Sahaba, and Sunni Tehrike are also
carrying out relief work. Only JUD and Sunni Tehrike are
overtly fundraising, as others are officially "banned"
organizations. Regardless of their "banned" status, post
suspected that these groups still raise funds through
affiliated and sympathetic mosques, madrassas, and clergy,
who routinely collect "charitable" donations during this
Ramadan season. JUD, like most Pakistani militant and
sectarian organizations, has a long history of channeling a
portion of all donations to their militant arms; post
believes it will continue to do so.



4. (S) JUD relief efforts have been prominently and
positively highlighted in the local media. Articles have
praised JUD's working alongside the USG in distributing
assistance, despite the USG's desire to have JUD declared a
terrorist organization. While the GOP has professed a desire
to close JUD relief operations, no action has yet been taken.



5. (S) Several Kashmiri militant/terrorist and sectarian
extremist organizations are raising funds overseas, either
directly or through supportive clerics, particularly in the
Persian Gulf, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Singapore.
This revenue flow increases during Ramadan, as clergy seek
zakat to support "charitable" efforts in Pakistan. Pakistani
clergy fundraise among Islamic communities in Europe and the
United States; however, increasingly stringent visa
requirements have limited the ability of supporters of
extremist/militant/terrorist organizations to travel to these
countries. International Islamic charities are, of course,
raising funds for the victims of the earthquake disaster
worldwide. Islamic Relief, in particular, has gained post's
attention for its relatively aggressive posturing, including
having its website listed on CNN and BBC as a possible
contact for charitable donations. (Note: As Washington is
aware, although Islamic Relief is not on Treasury's sanction
list, it has been investigated and monitored by various USG
agencies for some time. End note.)



6. (S) Comment: The GOP faces a serious dilemma dealing with
the proliferation of fundraising and relief efforts by
militant/terrorist/extremist organizations, which President
Musharraf has publicly promised to close as part of his
crackdown on extremism. While the fact that a portion of the
money raised may be diverted to militant activity is
disturbing, post is also concerned that volunteers from
extremist parties have become the face of relief operations
in some difficult-to-access parts of AJK. With organized
relief efforts reaching into remote areas of the disaster
zone, post believes that GOP and international actors will
supplant militant organizations as the primary source of
assistance, leading to quiet closure of militant relief
operations with little negative public reactions.
CROCKER