A STAGGERING 94 per cent of fresh recruits of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) see Jammu and Kashmir as a fighting front and hail mostly from Pakistans Punjab province,coming from families having links with the powerful army and intelligence network,according to a US military report.
The eye-opener report from the US Military Academy in West Point is result of a multi-year research effort conducted by a lead team of five eminent authors including C Christine Fair,Don Rassler and Anirban Ghosh,and is based on a study of over 900 biographies of the deceased LeT militants.
According to the report that runs into nearly 60 pages,the vast majority of LeTs fighters are recruited from Pakistans Punjab province and are actually rather well-educated compared to Pakistani men in general.
LeT training has historically occurred in Pakistan-occupied Kashmirs capital Muzaffarabad and in Afghanistan. Together these two locations have accounted for 75 per cent of LeT militant training over time,the report said.
Ninety-four per cent of fighters list Indian Kashmir as a fighting front, the report said. Although less relevant,Afghanistan,Chechnya,Tajikistan and Bosnia are also identified as other fronts.
Kupwara,Baramulla and Poonch in Indian Kashmir account for almost half of all LeT militant deaths since 1989. Kupwara has the largest number of militants killed, the report said.