February 2000 News

Pakistan seeking world attention on Kashmir: Army

24 February 2000
News International

Srinagar: Pakistan is seeking to draw world attention to Kashmir ahead of US President Bill Clinton''s visit to India by stepping up militant violence in the region, an Indian army official said on Thursday. ''It (violence) is not the militants'' effort but Pakistan''s effort to ensure world attention is attracted to Kashmir to the maximum possible, in particular American attention,'' Major General JR Mukherjee, chief of staff of the Indian army''s 15 corps, told a news conference. ''We do assess that they would attempt to heighten activity,'' he added. Mukherjee said Pakistan''s army was directly controlling ''trans-border terrorism'' in Jammu and Kashmir and separatist violence in the province had increased since the change of government in Pakistan four months ago. ''In our view, the Pakistan military has taken direct control of trans-border terrorism with the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence). I have no doubt in my mind that all orders to the terrorists are coming from across the Line of Control (LoC),'' he said. Mukherjee added that tension along the LoC had increased in the last two months. ''The border is fairly active. During the last two months in the entire Jammu and Kashmir region, the Pakistanis have been repeatedly attempting to launch a series of attacks on our posts, carrying out daily shelling,'' Mukherjee said.


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