September 2001 News

India hopes Bush will add Lashkar to list

25 September 2001
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: India is not too satisfied with George Bush''s list of terrorist organisations whose accounts the US plans to freeze. It hopes that the list would be expanded and would not stop with a ban on the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). The HuM, an outfit that operates in Jammu and Kashmir, is the only one with an Indian connection in Bush''s list of 27 terrorist organisations and individuals. New Delhi would have liked groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and the Jaish-e- Mohammad (JeM) banned. But for now, it is optimistic. ''The US is aware of the activities or organisations promoting violence in Kashmir and we are confident that our concerns will be heard,'' Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Nirupama Rao said. However, opinions are divided in the Home Ministry. On Monday, Home Minister L K Advani had wanted the US to impose a worldwide ban on the LeT and JeM. Some MHA officials welcomed the US action, but others said the HuM was a weak outfit and that US should have included the LeT and the JeM in its list. Others asked if the intelligence shared by New Delhi with the US was ''impressive enough'' to convince the Bush administration to impose a ban on the LeT and the JeM. A North Block official said India would have to fight terrorism ''largely on its own.'' He said nothing prevented India from banning the LeT and the JeM. ''Instead of waiting for the US, the government should move on its own and ban them,'' he said. In Washington, two State Department officials, Under Secretary Marc Grossman and spokesman Richard Boucher, said that the list of terrorist outfits for action might be expanded. Experts said the US government had decided to be cagey about over-exposing Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism at a time when the Musharraf regime''s support was being sought to nab Bin Laden.


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