India asks Pak to provide list of infiltrators in Kashmir
20 January 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Islamabad: As the Indo-Pak stand off over New Delhi’s demand for handing over 20 terrorists continued, India has asked Pakistan to furnish a comprehensive list of militant groups who had infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in recent times, a move resented by Islamabad which said it was being ''pushed against the wall'' by New Delhi. The report in ‘The News’ was published a day after Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said that Islamabad would provide India its own list of wanted men for extradition. The Pakistani daily said the Indian demand for a comprehensive list of militants infiltrated into J and K was conveyed to Pakistan officials during the recent visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell. It said the Indian Government has made it clear to the US authorities that unless all its demands, especially concerning Kashmir, are met, they will not withdraw their forces from the Pak-India border and will continue to pressure Islamabad. Apart from other conditions for troops withdrawal, New Delhi has also told the US Government to ask Pakistan to provide it details of all militants who reportedly entered into Kashmir from Pakistani side, it said. Pakistan reacted sharply to the new Indian demand complaining to the US authorities that Islamabad was being ''pushed against the wall'' by Indians with more demands irrespective of their impact on Pakistan, it said. ''Pakistan was of the view that by demanding such lists, New Delhi was actually playing a game to defame Islamabad and establish its military involvement in Kashmir,'' ''The News’ said. India and Pakistan were already locked in a see-saw diplomatic battle over the list of 20 criminals and terrorists given by India to Pakistan demanding their immediate hand over. Pakistan initially replied saying that it would not hand over the Pakistani nationals in the list but will consider the fate of Indians figuring in the list if India handed over evidence. Just as India handed over proof two days ago to Pakistan, Islamabad came out with an announcement that it was preparing its own list of terrorists sheltered in India, which would be shortly handed over. Pakistan also sent contradictory signals over its response to the Indian list with President Pervez Musharraf proclaiming over the CNN news channel yesterday that ''we don’t have them.'' Foreign Minister Sattar said Islamabad would study carefully the information provided by New Delhi but ''as for extradition that is a complex, political and legal issue. ''We shall, as President said will examine the cases of Indian nationals who are alleged to be in Pakistan and try to trace them, study the information that is provided to us by the Government with regards to these people in accordance with the merits,'' he said.