In an interview, a jihadi talks about why state-sponsored militants who once fought in Indian-controlled Kashmir are now joining the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
hafizabad and lahore, pakistan
Saeen Dilawar hadn't killed an infidel in years.
Like many of his friends from Pakistan's Punjab Province, in the 1990s he rushed east to help the Army fight the Indians in Kashmir. When government support dried up in 2002, he returned home to his quiet farming town of Hafizabad.
"Unfortunately, I have not yet killed an American," he says. Shrapnel from enemy shelling broke his left leg and sent him hobbling home, he says.
In recent years, Pakistan has aimed its antiterror offensives at the Taliban network operating in the remote northwestern tribal districts, a largely ethnic Pashtun movement in an area that has long resisted state rule.
But another militant threat is rearing its head in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province and its heartland; home to the country's capital, cultural hub, and military headquarters. Once-dormant Punjabi jihadists like Dilawar are beginning to link up with the Taliban, supplying manpower in battles in the northwest but also bringing the fight to Pakistan's center by carrying out attacks on their home turf.
Some 5,000 former Punjabi fighters have returned to combat as part of what is being called the "Punjabi Taliban," according to Hassan Abbas, a fellow at the Asia Society in New York. More young men could join, spurred by radical , or religious schools, that dot the province, advocating jihad.
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