January 2000 News

Militants form suicide squads

8 January 2000
The Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI: The Lashkar-e-Toyaba and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, under the directive of the ISI, have formed small suicide groups("fidayan") to attack the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. Official sources, quoting interrogation reports and wireless intercepts, said on Friday that after General Pervez Musharraf took over the reins of power in Pakistan, ISI authorities were forcing Kashmiri militants, camping in PoK for several years, to launch a major offensive against the Indian forces.

Militants arrested in December had revealed during questioning that the ISI had directed the Kashmiri militants to form suicide squads and carry out their task in the spirit of "do or die". The sources said the ISI's objective was to keep "the Kashmir pot boiling" till US president Clinton's visit to the sub-continent .The militants are also reported to have said that thousands of Kashmiri youths were waiting in PoK's Bagh district to cross over to J&K for carrying out subversive activities. The sources said an alarming trend had emerged in the second half of last year as several batches of Kashmiri youths were arrested at the border while attempting to infiltrate.

The arrested youths are reported to have said during questioning that they were brain-washed by ISI conduits operating in the Valley. These conduits had been directed by the ISI to revive dying militancy.

The sources said after the military take-over in Pakistan, the ISI had been promoting the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen by providing sophisticated weapons and money. This trend had been discernible in Pakistan for quite sometime as Lashkar-e-Toyaba had the patronage of sacked prime minister Nazaz Sharif, while Harkat-ul-Ansar had the support of Gen. Musharraf.


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