ISI behind killings: Advani
15 May 2000
New Delhi: The Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, today said that Pakistan''s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was behind the killing of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Minister, Mr. Ghulam Hassan Bhat, and four others in a blast in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. Expressing grief over the killings, he said, ''this will further strengthen the resolve of the people of the State and the Government of India to put down terrorism and bring back normalcy.'' A Home Ministry spokesman said the Centre viewed the killings as a desperate bid by Pakistani mercenaries to disrupt the dialogue it proposed to hold with leaders of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference. The spokesman said the Government''s keenness to hold talks with the APHC as well as militant groups in Kashmir had not pleased Pakistan which had told these leaders to stay away from this move. The three IED blasts in the State today were part of Pakistan''s attempts to create all sorts of disruptions, he said. He said the Government had not placed any restrictions on the released Hurriyat leaders as it wanted something substantial to come out of its proposal to hold talks. The spokesman said Pakistan was losing confidence in the local people and militancy operations had passed into the hands of foreign mercenaries. Security for APHC Meanwhile, four APHC leaders including the chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, have been provided with security cover in view of threats from some militant outfits, official sources said here today. The leaders have been provided with a guard at their houses besides escort vehicles when they move out. They said the decision was taken as a precautionary measure as some militant outfits had reportedly threatened to cause harm to these leaders.