January 2002 News

PoK PM doesn''t want Pak to hand over militants

21 January 2002
The Times of India

MUZAFFARABAD: The prime minister of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir urged Pakistan on Monday not to hand over any Kashmiri militants fighting the Indian Army and called them ''freedom fighters.''I will protest if Pakistan turns over Kashmiri mujahiddin (holy warriors) to India,'' Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan said. ''I''ll discuss the issue with President Musharraf and urge him not to hand over any Kashmiri to India.''Khan said those fighting for ''their freedom'' are not terrorists. ''The United Nations recognises Kashmir as disputed territory and Kashmiris are waging a legitimate struggle,'' he said, adding, ''We don''t recognise the Line of Control and no one can block Kashmiris fromcrossing it.'' India has given Pakistan a list of 20 alleged terrorists sought in the December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament and for insurgent activity in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. But, Musharraf has ruled out handing over any Pakistani citizens, but most of the people on the list are Indian nationals. Instead, Pakistan has presented its own list of alleged criminals it says are now in India but are sought by Islamabad.In New Delhi on Monday, officials said they were ready to extradite any Pakistani crime suspect sought by Islamabad in return for the 20 suspects.Musharraf has banned two Kashmiri groups - Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e- Mohammed - which India accuses of staging December 13 Parliament attack. However, both groups deny the charge. Khan said his administration doesn''t plan to arrest or seal offices of the Lashkar- e-Toiba and Jasih-e-Mohammed, despite Musharraf''s ban. ''If members belonging to these groups live peacefully and don''t indulge in criminal activities, we won''t take any action against them,'' he said. ''But those who indulge in terrorism would be handed over to Pakistani authorities.'' Indian wheat gives Pakistan germ jitters  Powell sees improvement in India-Pak stand-off Militants plot jehad against Musharraf Nation stands united behind jawans PM India, US hold anti-terrorism talks  US is putting the squeeze on Pak Full Coverage   Join the peace club Indo-Pak nostalgia A walk down memory lane Can Musharraf match words with deeds? Post your opinion


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