October 2001 News

Ban on JeM welcome: Jaswant

12 October 2001
The Hindu
Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Security met this evening and assessed the significance of protests in Pakistan and the developments in Afghanistan . Briefing the media after the CCS meeting, the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, said the anti-Government protests today were the most violent and significant in Karachi. The CCS also analysed the nature of the protests in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Peshawar. Mr. Singh welcomed the decision of the U.S. and British Governments to ban and freeze the assets of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, that took responsibility for the suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on October 1. The Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Omar Abdullah, described the ban as a ''welcome step'' and hoped that India''s concerns about other terrorist outfits would also be addressed. The CCS discussed the fire in the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi, which followed the sacking of the ISI chief and the shifting of the Corps Commander in Lahore, Lt. General Mohammad Aziz Khan. The blaze, according to Mr. Singh, had caused significant damage to the army headquarters. Asked about the statement on Kashmir by the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, in Varanasi, Mr. Singh said the Government was determined to root out terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and special efforts to achieve this objective were under way. On the ground situation in Afghanistan, he said the Northern Alliance which was battling the Taliban was only 10-12 km. short of the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. The Alliance was also closing in on Herat in western Afghanistan. The Kabul-Herat road link had also been snapped. India rejects U.S. stand PTI reports: India tonight rejected the U.S. description of Kashmir as the ''most dangerous place in the world'' and declared that New Delhi was determined to root out cross-border terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir by mounting ''special efforts given the present circumstances.'' ''I disagree with the assessment. We have disagreed earlier also to this type of thesis being put up by the West. Rather than Kashmir, it was Afghanistan which is a flashpoint,'' Mr. Jaswant Singh told reporters when asked to comment on the reported statement of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Richard Armitage, that Kashmir ''is the most dangerous place in the world''. Mr. Singh, however, hastened to add that he had not seen the particular statement of Mr. Armitage. ''If it is attributed to Mr. Armitage, I disagree'', he said.


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