March 2002 News

Pakistanis in J-K guilty of worst crimes

4 March 2002
The Indian Express

Washington DC: Many of the insurgents in Kashmir, guilty of the worst atrocities, are Pakistanis, Afghanis and other nationals, the US State Department said today. ‘‘In addition to political killings, kidnappings and rapes of politicians and civilians, insurgents engaged in extortion and carried out acts of random terror that killed hundreds of Kashmiris. ‘‘Many of the militants are not citizens but Afghanis, Pakistanis and other nationals,’’ the State Department said in its annual human rights report. Since the 1990s, said the report, militants have made liberal use of time-delayed explosives, landmines, hand grenades and snipers, it said. There was a significant upsurge in militant violence against security forces, and a tendency to use heavy weapons such as hand grenades and rockets, the report said. It also spoke of atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits by militants. The concerted campaign of execution-style killings of civilians, begun in 1998, continued, and included several killings of political leaders and party workers, it said. The report described at length extremist and terrorist activities in India during the past year including attack on Parliament and the suicide attack on J-K Assembly. It also spoke about the Naxalite violence in the North-East and Jharkhand. It said there were atrocities by militants; attacks on Christians in some areas and attacks by Christians in others; and Hindu-Muslim violence. ‘‘Christians sometimes are the oppressors. In Tripura, there were several cases of harassment of non-christians by Christian members of the National Liberation front (NLFT) of Tripura,” it said. The Indian government, the report said, generally respected human rights of its citizens in some areas. However, numerous serious problems remain in many significant areas, it added. ‘‘Significant rights abuses included extrajudicial killings, including faked encounter killings and deaths of suspects in police custody,” the report said.


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