July 2006 News

Lashkar, Hizbul behind tourist attacks in Valley

2 June 2006
The Pioneer

New Delhi: Security agencies have found the footprints of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (Let) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) behind the twin attacks on tourists in Kashmir Valley. Subsequent investigations into these attacks have also led the agencies to believe that the grenade attack on the tourists from Gujarat and Bengal were carried out by Pakistan-sponsored terrorist groups to scuttle the on-going attempt to normalise the situation in the Valley. The normalisation process had begin to yield dividend as the State witnessed 200 per cent increase in tourism. The desperation of the militants could be assessed from the fact that tourists were-not targeted even during the height of terrorism in the State. According to the official data of Jammu and Kashmir tourism department, atleast 5,000 tourists were arriving in different parts of the State. Not only tour operators but also the local Kashmiris were happy with this windfall. Tourists were targeted only to nullify this advantage, an official in the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Thursday. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-ed All Parties Hurriyat Conference stood marginalised after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turned down their demand to meet them on the sidelines of the recent Round table Conference . Well-placed sources told The Pioneer that neither Hurriyat nor terrorist outfits were happy with the RTC. Intelligence intercepts emanating from across the border indicate that terrorist outfits are planning more such attacks to revive the horrifying spectre of 1989 when terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir suddenly increased manifold as if remote controlled. Agencies have evidence that Lashkar and HM in concert with certain disgruntled elements in the Valley want to derail the ongoing peace initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir. Sudden spurt in terrorist attacks suits Hurriyat leaders who are desperate for a talk with the Government. They can very well claim that peace can never be permanent in Kashmir and Government must open a dialogue with them.

 

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