Islamabad, September 24: Terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which has been sanctioned by the UN-related watchdog agencies, has changed its name to Majlis Wurusa-e-Shuhuda Jammu wa Kashmir in an apparent bid to avoid global scrutiny. According to reports emerging from Pakistan, the group will now be headed by Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, the brother of Jaish chief and founder Maulana Masood Azhar. Mumbai on Target of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Terrorists Planning to Attack Business Houses: Report.
The succession in Jaish leadership was necessitated as Azhar is facing major health issues and largely bed-ridden. His public movement has been severely restricted and he is currently lying in a terminally ill condition at the Markaz Usman-o-Ali in Bahawalpur.
Sources in India's counter-terror agencies, while speaking to HT, have confirmed the change in Jaish name. The group has now taken over the name of Majlis Wurusa-e-Shuhuda Jammu wa Kashmir, which roughly translates as “gathering of the descendents of martyrs of J&K”. The cadre remains entirely the same as it was of the Jaish, they confirmed.
Apart from changing the name, Jaish has also adopted a modified flag, reports claimed. The new flag is similar to the previous one, except for the replacement of "Al-Jihad" inscription with "Al-Islam".
Security analysts have pointed out that the Jaish had adopted a similar ploy earlier as well, as the group was once also known by the names of Khudam-ul-Islam and Al Rehmat Trust.
The rebranding of Jaish comes in the backdrop of Intelligence agencies apprehending the group's intent to reboost insurgency in Jammu & Kashmir. Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday confirmed the reactivation of the Balakot terror launch pad which was destroyed in the February 26 strikes.
At a recent Kashmir Hour rally organised in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), senior Jaish leader and cleric Maulana Abid Mukhtar had vowed to "re-ignite" jihad against India, the US and Israel to avenge the "killings" in Kashmir and Palestine.