October 1999 News

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Lashkar to intensify attacks in Kashmir next month

26 October 1999
Daily Excelsior

ISLAMABAD: A front-ranking Pakistan-based mercenary group, Lashkar-e-Toiba, is planning to intensify strikes in Kashmir in the first week of November to coincide with its annual congregation, as the country’s Army rulers showed little signs of curbing activities of such groups.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba is planning to hold its annual three-day congregation at Muridke on the outskirts of Lahore from November 3 to 5 and during this time plans have been chalked out to intensify attacks on Indian troops in Kashmir, leading Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt said quoting Lashkar sources.

The outfit, one of the most prominent and well organised militant groups involved in the Kargil infiltration earlier this year, has apparently received indications that the Army authorities have no intention of banning their congregation, the report said.

Earlier this month, doubts prevailed over the congregation amidst reports that the ousted Nawaz Sharif Government was planning to impose a ban on it following a crack down on most extremist religious groups in the country.

In fact, the Sharif Government immediately after a spate of sectarian related killings across Pakistan in the beginning of this month had launched a crack down against Lashkar and other similar organisations in Pakistan.

Sharif had even issued a stern warning to the Taliban Government in Afghanistan blaming them for patronising terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan and demanding their immediate closure. These camps are either situated in PoK or in Afghanistan.

Full scale preparations are underway for the Lashkar’s annual congregation in which nearly one million people are likely to participate with no sign of any restraint on them by military authorities.

International and national media have also been invited to the congregation in which participants of Kargil would take part, a statement by the Lashkar, which has declared an open Jehad against India, said.

Since the Army takeover in Pakistan, official Pak-occupied Kashmir radio has also broadcast an interview with Lashkar chief Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed, in the first hint of leniency on part of Army authorities towards militant groups. (PTI)


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