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June 21, 1999
Pak caught in cleft stick
The G-8's statement yesterday condemning the violation of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and suggesting Indo-Pak talks has caught the Nawaz Sharief government in a cleft stick.
The Islamic militants, whom it has armed and infiltrated into the Indian side, have already warned it against any talk of their withdrawal from the positions they 'have captured'.
Anticipating the G-8's reaction to Kargil, thousands of Lashkar-i-Taiba millitants gathered in Rawalpindi on Friday. They warned the Sharief government that if under foreign pressure it asked them to withdraw from the Kargil sector, they would destroy it. They are in position to destroy any government that comes in their way, they said.
From the statements of Islamic fanatics it appears that they have been inspired to believe by the Pakistani government that once entrenched in Kargil they would take over the whole of Kashmir.
Hizb-ul-Mujahadin secretary-general Mufikar Ahmed told Urdu daily Jang last week that this (intrusion) has given the best opportunity for 'freeing' Kashmir.
Harkat-ul-Mujahedin chief Maulana Fazlur Rehaman Lhelil told another Urdu daily Ausaf that the militants had captured an area of 50 square kilometres in the Kargil region after three years of labour.
''This is not a temporary occupation,'' he said asking the Sharief government ''not to turn our victory into defeat'' by holding talks with India.
Hizb-ul-Mujahedin and Harkat-ul-Mujahedin are among the Islamic organisations which have been groomed to be used as 'fodder' in Kargil. They mainly consist of Pakistani and Afghan boys from very poor families in Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Province and southern Punjab.
No leader of Jamaat-i-Islami or any other fundamentalist party, who are very active in their support of the Kargil invasion, has allowed his son to take part in this jehad.
Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz's latest denial that the Pakistan government has no control over Islamic militants notwithstanding, more details have come to light about how the Pakistani army has been scouting for fanatics who did not care for their lives. Incidentally, the Jamaat-i-Islami last month called upon people who intended to commit suicide because of financial problems, to avoid this act and join the jehad).
It was reported that two Inter-Services Intelligence officers visited Afghan camps in Peshwar early last month and persuaded them to join the jehad against India in Kashmir. Those who expressed reluctance were threatened to be sent back to Afghanistan.
A joint council of militant organisations, who claimed shooting down an Indian helicopter on May 28 with the help of a Stringer missile, was set up by the army to coordinate their activities. These organisations include the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Tehrikul Jehad, Tehrikul Mujahedin, Al Jehad, Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front, Al Umar, Harkatul Ansar, Hizbullah, Muslim Janbaaz Force, Al Fateh and Hizbul Momineen.
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