March 2002 News

ISI still supporting J&K militants: Report

3 March 2002
The Times of India

NEW YORK: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf''s efforts to rein in the activities of the ISI in Jammu and Kashmir has achieved mixed results with elements in the agency still continuing to sympathise with militant groups.The agency, which had been running ''semi-independent'' operations in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir and had helped to ''topple'' governments in Pakistan''s western neighbour has obeyed Musharraf''s orders to reverse policy in Afghanistan, Newsweek says. But this is not the case in Jammu and Kashmir.''Musharraf has ordered the agency to cut off contact with Pakistan-based insurgents that have battled Indian forces'' in the state, it said.''But the cause is a very potent issue for nationalists of all stripes, not least of all the president himself. And the ISI''s interest in trading (accused kidnapper of Wall Street Journal reporter) Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh for Daniel Pearl (the reporter) could indicate that sympathy for those groups continues to permeate the agency,'' it stresses. This, the report says, puts Musharraf in an ''especially precarious position.''The Kashmiri militants are among the most violent in Pakistan, and India remains suspicious enough to keep several hundred thousand troops stationed along the border, waiting to see if fighters begin to cross into Kashmir once the winter snows melt,'' it said.The magazine also said that ISI had told Musharraf that Pearl was alive and would be rescued shortly even though its agents had received a message from Sheikh that Pearl had been killed. It also never shared its information with the police.


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