The United Jihad Council (UJC) is an umbrella organisation of some 16 jihadi
outfits engaged in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In the early
1990s, a number of terrorist outfits mushroomed in the state with the active
support of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). In its
efforts to ensure complete control on their jihadi activities, Pakistan created an
alliance of 13 leading jihadi outfits called the Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC)
in November 1994 under Commander Manzur Shah, leader of the Jamaat-ul-
Mujahideen.1 By 1999, three Pakistan-based outfits—Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Al Badr—were also roped in, taking the total
number to 16.
The UJC stands for merger of J&K with Pakistan. Its commander, Manzur Shah,
declared in 1994 that the sole objective of the escalating jihad in Kashmir was
to incorporate it into Pakistan, adding that “all Kashmir militant organisations
have announced that Pakistan is their ideal end goal…the freedom fighters will
surrender (Kashmir) to the Pakistani military and government”. He added: “Jihad
has been getting stronger…the Mujahideens are getting organised now and
attacking the Indian military strategically”.4
In an interview with Baba Umar of Tehlka, the UJC chairman, Syed
Salahuddin, said that he formally believed that it is in the interest of the
subcontinent that Kashmir goes to Pakistan as he felt that majority of the people
suggest this stance.5 The UJC also aims to bring unity among all the constituents
of the conglomerate, plan a collective military strategy and formulate a common
stand on national and international issues.6
The first chairman of the UJC was Azam Inqilabi who is now the chief patron
of J&K Mahaz-e-Azadi. He proved to be ineffective in handling the activities of
the outfit. He was replaced by Tanvir-ul-Islam, who headed the organisation till
- In December 1995, a meeting of all the outfits was called, which elected
Syed Salahuddin, the supreme commander of HM, as chairman. The meeting
also elected Sheikh Jamil-ur-Rehmanof Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen as general secretary
and Liaquat al-Azhari of Lashkar-e-Islam as deputy chairman.
Area of Operation
The headquarters of the MJC are located at Muzaffarabad (PoK). Since the prime
objective of all the 16 groups is to liberate Kashmir from India, the area of
operation of the MJC is mainly Kashmir.
Finance and Funding
The ISI is believed to be the major financer for UJC. It is for this reason that it
has gained considerable support from official state machinery. Funds are also
collected from donors in Punjab and PoK.
Recently, the UJC chief has created fear in Kashmir by issuing threats to
thousands of panchs and sarpanches that “militants would kill sarpanchas and panchs as they are being used as tools by Indian agencies”.11 Earlier, he had called for limiting the number of pilgrims on the annual Amarnath Yatra. Healleged that “increasing number of Amarnath Yatris, setting up permanent Yatra infrastructure and increasing interference of non-local laborers in private and
public sector is an indication of the governments plan to change the Muslim
character of the J&K state”.12
Like other militant outfits, the UJC has also opposed Pakistan’s move to
grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. In this connection,
Salahuddin joined a rally organised by various jihadi groups in Islamabad on 29
December 2011. The UJC, led by Syed Salahuddin, continues to operate as one
of the most anti-India forums with an aim to liberate Kashmir from India. Media
reports indicate that the UJC/MJC was involved in the Hyderabad blasts in
- See Yossef Bodansky, “Pakistan, Kashmir and the Trans-Asian Axis”, available at http://
www. Kanshmir-information.com/Bodansky/Bodansky4.html (accessed on 10 September
- See “JKLF leaves Jihad Council”, Daily Times, 22 April 2004, available at http://
www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_22-4-2004_pg7_47 (accessed on 10
- See Muhammad Amir Rana, The Seeds of Terrorism, London: New Millennium Publication,
2005, p. 304.
- See Bodansky, “Pakistan, Kashmir and the Trans-Asian Axis”.
- See Baba Umar, “We aren’t Fighting from Pakistan, We are Fighting from Liberated Kashmir”,
Tehelka, 11 February 2012, available at http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename
=Ne020411We_are.asp (accessed on 10 September 2012).
- See Muhammad Amir Rana, Gateway to Terrorism, London: New Millennium, 2003, p.
- See “Mansoor Ijaz Offered Package to MJC over Ceasefire in Occupied Kashmir: Salahuddin”,
available at http://www.kashmirglobal.com/2011/11/27/mansoor-ijaz-offered-package-to-mjcover-
ceasefire-in-occupied-kashmir-salahuddin.html (accessed on 10 September 2012).
- See “United Jihad Council Chairman Says Dialogue is Useless, Armed Struggle will
Continue”, available at http://www.thefortress.com.pk/dialogue-is-useless-armed-struggle-willcontinue-
united-jihad-council/ (accessed on 10 September 2012).
- See Sultan Shahin, “A New Dimension in India’s Northeast Woes”, Asia Times, 23 October
2004, available at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/Fj23Df02.html (accessed on
10 September 2012).
- See Rana, Gateway to Terrorism, pp. 545–46.
- See “Threat Divides Panchas, Sarpanchas”, available at http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/
2012/Nov/6/threat-divides-panchs-sarpanchs-48.asp (accessed on 10 November 2012).
- See “Jihad Council Calls for Limiting Number of Amarnath Pilgrims”, Deccan Herald, 2
September 2012, available at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/276082/jihad-councilcalls-
limiting-number.html (accessed on 7 November 2012