September 2001 News

Jihadis plan big J&K strike

23 September 2001
The Asian Age
Yusuf Jameel

Srinagar: Most of the foreign Islamic fighters active in Kashmir have not so far left Indian territory to go the rescue of their Taliban brethren in Afghanistan, faced with the threat of imminent US military strikes. Only some of their commanders have crossed over into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir for consultations, and they might later cross the border into Afghanistan. “They will either be asked to return to Kashmir after the consultations are over or would be replaced by equally experienced and dedicated mujahideen to lead the respective groups here,” said a source in one of the militant organisations here. The source said the militants here, both locals and outsiders, were waiting for instructions from their commanders before they actually intensify their campaign of terror in Jammu and Kashmir. The growing feeling among them was that it had become imperative to step up activities, particularly to carry out some sensational acts like the surprise fidayeen attacks against the security forces, both to boost the morale of their own men as well as to disprove reports suggesting that foreign mercenaries were leaving Kashmir for Afghanistan. Asked to comment on the authenticity of such reports, Jammu and Kashmir director-general of police Ashok Kumar Suri told The Asian Age on Sunday that intelligence inputs available with the security agencies did suggest that foreign militants were being asked to return to Afghanistan. “But we have no knowledge whether they are on the move,” he said. Kashmir’s secessionist leaders are, meanwhile, believed to be worried over US secretary of state Colin Powell reported remark that his country’s war against terrorism could be extended to Jammu and Kashmir. The militant outfits here shrug the threat off, insisting that if need be they are even prepared to take on the United States, which they refer to as the “biggest and worst enemy” of Muslims. There are, however, other reports from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir indicating that a number of militant commanders have abandoned training camps and safe houses and dispersed across the territory and beyond over the past one week. This is in order to escape detection by US reconnaissance satellites which are believed to be closely monitoring this region now. The militant commanders have taken a serious view of India’s offer to share intelligence and other information on their activities with the Bush administration, particularly details about the terrorist training camps believed to be located across PoK and in Pakistan’s Northwest-Frontier Province. “The nexus between Uncle Sam, Zionists and Brahmins can’t be tolerated,” said a spokesperson of pro-Pakistan Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, one of four radical Islamic outfits which had called for a total shutdown in the Valley on Friday against an imminent US military strike against Afghanistan. Senior Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Gani Lone insists, however, that the US is the only country in the world “which has a definite and open stand on Kashmir.” Asked what that stand was, Mr Lone said: “Ours is an indigenous movement, a genuine freedom struggle.” Mr Lone added: “I think the US will now feel more strongly about Kashmir and try to help in finding an amicable solution to the dispute as quickly as possible.” Mr Lone described Kashmir as an “infectious disease,” but added: “Killing mosquitoes will not cure malaria, you need to destroy the breeding fields.” He said Kashmir and Palestine were the two main issues which needed to be addressed first in order to avoid a wider conflict.


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