November 1999 News

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Pak rulers allow Lashkar to hold 3-day teror camp

2 November 1999
The Asian Age
By Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a terrorist outfit based in Pakistan, has been allowed by the military regime to hold a three-day congregation from November 3 at Muridke. The head of the organisation, Hafiz Saeed, has directed the terrorists affiliated to the Lashkar to carry out special strikes against India and "use heavy artillery in Kashmir."

Pakistan President Mohammed Tarar and Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf have been invited by the terrorist group, which was involved in the Kargil conflict.

The president of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim Khan, and its prime minister, Sultan Mehmood Choudhary, have accepted the invitation to attend the congregation which is expected to be attended by 10 lakh people, including chiefs of international jihadi organisations. Religious affairs minister Raja Zafar-ul Haq and interior minister Choudhary Shujaat Husain of the dismissed government are also likely to attend.

The Lashkar had openly admitted that its mujahideen were part of the operation and had been opposed to the Pakistan government's decision to withdraw from "Indian-held territory." The Lashkar has been waging what it describes as a "jihad for the liberation of Kashmir" in the Valley and is one of the major terrorist groups trained, funded and supported by successive Pakistan regimes operating in Kashmir.

General Musharraf's decision to allow the congregation at Muridke is being interpreted in government circles here as a clear indication that he is not serious about a dialogue with India. The Vajpayee government has been demanding an end to cross-border terrorism as a pre-condition to the dialogue and the Muridke meet is seen here as a signal that the military rulers are not in the mood for any confrontation with the terrorist and hardline organisations operating out of Pakistan. The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is setting up a modern media centre at Muridke for the meet where weapons allegedly taken from the Indian security forces will be put on display. The organisation has also promised to play tape-recordings of the voices of Indian security personnel when they were attacked by the mujahideen.


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