Pakistan Plans To Form Kashmir Liberation Army
16 August 2000
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Pakistan is for setting up Kashmir Liberation Army (KLA), according to the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Ajit Kumar Panja. The KLA is to consist of various militant groups. Giving this information in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Mr Ajit Panja divulged that Pakistan had been trying to bring various militant groups under one umbrella organisation, which would be known as the Kashmir Liberation Army. This project, Mr Panja said in reply to a question by Mr Ramdas Athawale, had not taken off yet. Reason: Unwillingness of certain outfits to join the proposed Kashmir Liberation Army. This notwithstanding, Pakistan has been found pursuing the idea of forming the KLA. According to Mr Panja, Pakistan has, following its defeat during the Kargil war, stepped up its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India. New Delhi, he pointed out, had brought to the attention of the international community the ''facts'' regarding Pakistan''s state sponsorship of cross-border terrorism and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of India. Mr Panja said that the international community ''now openly recognises'' Pakistan''s role in the sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in India and the impact this has on the security of the country and the region. India, Mr Ajit Panja said in his reply to a question by Dr Rajeshwaramma Vukkala, had protested against the Pakistan-scripted resolution on Kashmir at the meet of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) held in June this year in Malaysia. The Government of India in a press release on July 6 rejected the resolution, he stated, adding that it was reiterated that such resolutions and pronouncements of the OIC on matters ''that are entirely within the domestic jurisdiction of India are totally unacceptable''. Mr Panja asserted that OIC ''has no locus standi whatsoever on the subject of Jammu and Kashmir or any other subject that relates to India''s internal affairs''. In his reply to a question by Mr YS Vivekananda Reddy and Mr Vilas Muttemwar, Mr Ajit Panja said that Pakistan infiltrated armed terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India as part of its policy of sponsoring cross-border terrorism. The Government of India, he asserted, ''remains steadfast in its resolve to defeat Pakistan''s state sponsorship of terrorism'' in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India. Mr Panja informed Mr RL Bhatia that the Government of India has been conveying to the US Government in all appropriate forums, including in the Indo-US Joint Working Group on counter terrorism, its assessment of Pakistan''s role in sponsoring, supporting and abetting cross-border terrorism in India. The US Government, Mr Panja admitted, had stated that it had not made a legal determination with regard to Pakistan''s sponsorship of terrorism. While the process reamined under review, the Government of India would continue to draw the attention of the international community, including that of the United States, to Pakistan''s sponsorship of and support to cross-border terrorism in India, he said. On the activities of Pakistani ISI in Nepal, Mr Ajit Panja said in reply to a question by Mr Priya Rajan Dasmunsi that the Government of India was concerned about ISI misusing the Nepalese territory and the open India-Nepal border for activities inimical to India''s interests. Reports received by New Delhi indicated evidence of ISI, with the help of Indian extremist elements from Punjab and Kashmir, using Nepal as a staging post for terrorist activities directed against India. Mr Panja informed the House that India and Nepal had agreed to jointly coordinate measures to counter ISI activities directed against India. The Government of Nepal, he said, had assured that the Nepalese territory would not be used for activities inimical to India''s interests. According to Mr Panja, the Nepalese Government has been extending its cooperation to the Government of India in this regard. Mr Jaswant Singh, Minister for External Affairs, said that China''s Foreign Minister, Mr Tang Jiaxuan, who was on a two-day visit to India last month, made it very clear that China opposed all forms of terrorism and the use of terrorism to achieve political objectives. Mr Jiaxuan, Mr Jaswant Singh informed Mr MV Chandrashekhra Murthy and Mr Ajay Singh Chautala, had also stated that China supported international efforts to combat terrorism. Stating that during his meeting with China''s Foreign Minister he had reiterated New Delhi''s position on resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, Mr Jaswant Singh informed the House that Mr Tang Jiaxuan said that China''s position on Indo-Pak issues, including the problem of Jammu and Kashmir, was well-known and that China stood for peace. Mr Jaswant Singh said that he reiterated India''s concerns to China''s Foreign Minister with regard to Sino-Pak military cooperation. China, Mr Tang Jiaxuan insisted, had ''normal state-to-state relations with Pakistan including normal military cooperation''. Mr Jaswant Singh quoted his Chinese counterpart as having stated that Sino-Pak cooperation was not targeted against any third country.