September 2001 News

US strike threat has numbed militants in J&K

27 September 2001
The Times of India
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

PUNE: Although tight-lipped about the moves India has planned in the event of an attack by the U.S. on Afghanistan, defence secretary Yogendra Narain said on Wednesday that the number of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir has gone down although the exact reasons for this was not clear.Mr Narain who was in the city to deliver a lecture, said later that looked like the Afghan-based mujahideen have gone back to their home country, but he said intelligence reports could not confirm this. ''There are confusing reports on the outward movement of the mujahideen from India,'' he said.Asked whether India apprehended misuse of Pakistan''s nuclear weapons by fundamentalist elements in that country, he replied that as of now this was not a concern. ''We do not anticipate that nuclear weapons will fall into the wrong hands. Such a scenario is not likely.''For India''s part, he said, ''we will continue with the decision of no-first-use as far as nuclear strikes are concerned. Besides, the government has always said that it will not attack a non-nuclear country,'' he said.While he was in the city, the defence secretary took the opportunity to hold a meeting with senior officials of the Southern Command to review the overall situation in the region covered by it.According to senior army officials, Mr Narain was briefed about general problems. ''He (Mr Narain) was told about the difficulties in equipment purchases due to lack of financial powers with the Command,'' said an official.The Command officials, sources said, asked for decentralisation of powers to facilitate purchases of equipment besides sanction of civil works. ''The secretary was also requested to streamline the lengthy procedures experienced while taking up new projects,'' said the official.

 

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