June 2002 News

Lashkar linked to ISI, Straw tells House of Commons

10 June 2002
The Hindustan Times
Vijay Dutt

London: There is a clear link between the ISI and the Lashkar-e-Taiba and such groups, says Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during a statement in the House of Commons on the South Asia situation. "Her Majesty’s Government accepts that there is a clear link between the ISI and these groups." He informed the House that "intense diplomatic efforts and decisions made in recent days by the governments of India and Pakistan give grounds for some optimism, and the tensions have eased a little". He pointed out that in the last decade the "character of the conflict has changed with the incursion of armed militants across the LoC into India from the Pakistani side." A number of terrorist groups, including Laskhar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, each of which I proscribed when I was Home Secretary, have been at the forefront of violent activity within the region." He said that India has long charged that "such terrorism has had the covert support of successive Pakistani governments, and in particular the ISI." He touched on President Musharraf January 12 speech in which he pledged that "no organisation will be allowed to indulge in terrorism in the name of Kashmir". But, Straw said, "From early May, when the winter snows began to melt, there was, however, an increase in terrorist activity in J&K, and a rise in levels of infiltration."


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