February 2000 News

ISI directs militants to intensify activities

6 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s ISI has directed all militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir to intensify their activities in the run up to US President Bill Clinton’s five-day visit from March 20, official sources said here.

The directions came after a meeting at Rawalpindi last month which was attended by Pakistan’s military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf, ISI Commanders and leaders of various militant groups, the sources told PTI.

They said one Brig Riyaz has been appointed as ISI’s director for Jammu and Kashmir affairs to make concerted efforts for raising the pitch before Clinton’s visit.

Pakistan’s military regime has also directed Hurriyat Conference and Al Burq militant outfits to set up offices in major cities around the world to spread propaganda about Kashmir and raise funds over the issue.

The regime has paid 10 million pounds to the Hurriyat Conference for setting up the offices, they said. They added that Al Burq outfit has already established an office in Germany.

The sources apprehend that militants may even resort to hijacking or abductions prior to Clinton’s visit to highlight the Kashmir issue.

The sources said the militant organisations have been instructed to indulge in sabotage activities in Jammu besides stepping up attacks on vital installations in Kashmir valley.

Though some of the peripheral districts of Jammu have been engulfed in militancy for some time, the winter capital has so far witnessed only occasional bomb blasts. In addition to these incidents, several rockets have been seized from militants in some parts of Jammu.

Significantly, Pakistan Government is now making its designs overt as is evident from the official sponsorship of the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ yesterday during which umpteen programmes, including seminars, were organised in Pakistan to express support to the struggle of Kashmiris. The day was also declared a national holiday.

Gen Musharraf has also announced to donate half of his salary for humanitarian assistance to Kashmiris and asked all members of the National Security Council and federal cabinet to donate a day’s salary for the purpose.

Interestingly, Hurriyat Conference’s acting chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq recently said in Srinagar that his organisation wanted Clinton to visit Kashmir to assess the situation there. (PTI)


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