October 1999 News

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Only solution to Kashmir is jihad: Lashkar rebels

21 October 1999
The Asian Age
By Ashish Kumar Sen

SAN FRANCISCO: Militant organisations based in Pakistan have underlined their intention to continue to wage a "jihad" in Kashmir. In what is being interpreted as a clear indicator of insurgency being stepped up in Kashmir in the near future, militant groups have drawn up a hit list comprising names of all senior Indian armed forces officers based in the Valley.

A spokesman for the Lashkar-e-Toiba said recently in Islamabad that his organisation was opposed to Pakistan entering into any dialogue with India unless Kashmiri militants are allowed to participate.

"If General Musharraf thinks dialogue is the solution, he is welcome to try," Abdullah Muntazir, spokesman of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, was quoted as saying in a Washington Post report. "But we believe the only solution to Kashmir is jihad," he added.

The organisation made no effort to veil its animosity towards Indian forces in the Valley. The terrorist organisation’s spokesman went on to list the officers of all Indian security forces based in Kashmir who were on its hit list. Earlier this month, senior government officials in Washington had hinted that the Clinton administration was contemplating a decision to add the Lashkar-e-Toiba to its list of terrorist organisations.

The list was recently updated to include the organisation headed by Saudi billionaire Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden’s name has also been added to the FBI’s list of 10-most wanted international criminals.

In Pakistan the Lashkar-e-Toiba met with stiff opposition from the Nawaz Sharif government. Now, in the changed scenario, the terrorist outfit will be free to hold its annual conference in Muridke, near Lahore, early next month.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba is the military wing of the Markaz-e-Da’wa-ul-Arshad, which trains its students for jihad. Kashmir is its main target.

Another sign of support for militant outfits in Pakistan came with the recent release of more than 100 Islamic militants whom deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government had arrested for protesting against Pakistan’s withdrawal from Kargil in July. According to the Urdu daily Ausaf, these mujahideen belong to the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Harkat-ul Mujahideen and Tehrik-ul Mujahideen. Cautioning Pakistan Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf against being swayed by internal or foreign intrigues, the members of the United Jihad Council said last Tuesday’s military coup in Pakistan was proof that "Western-imposed democracy is not the answer" for either Pakistan or India. They felt the only solution was implementation of Islam. Militant organisations active in the Kashmir Valley have welcomed the "moral, political and diplomatic support" offered by Gen. Musharraf. However, moral support is last on their mind in the present circumstances. "Every leader in Pakistan says they will support us diplomatically. We need one that will support us militarily. This is not real support," said Abdullah Muntazir.

"This has been a very good year for us. The entire Kashmir Valley has become a battlefield now," Syed Salahuddin, leader of both the Hizb-ul Mujaheddin guerrilla group and the United Jihad Council, had said in a recent interview.

"We believe the solution to our problems is the gun, and we will continue to the last drop of Kashmiri blood."

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This Archives is Maintained by Md. Sadiq, 1998

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