|J A M M U C
& CK A S H M I R
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
PM to look into J-K cash
militants killed, 6 held in valley
JAMMU, Dec 8 The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who, during his two-day visit to the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir toured far-flung areas, conveyed in loud and clear tones his three-point message to Pakistan and the militants.
Mr Vajpayee selected Leh in the east of Kashmir, Kargil in the north of the valley and Tangdhar in the west of the summer capital and Hiranagar in the south of the winter capital to convey to Pakistan that the state being an integral part of India was not negotiable. He made it clear to Islamabad during his four public rallies and one Press conference that India wanted to promote friendship with all neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan, and New Delhi would not stomach repeated border violations and aid to militants.
Mr Vajpayee changed his headgear and dress thrice, but never changed his stand on Kashmir and militancy. In Leh he addressed the public rally with a Ladakhi headgear, in Kargil and Srinagar he was seen with lamb skin (Karakuli) cap on and at Hiranagar he was back to his capless figure.
The Prime Minister's second message to militants and separatists operating in the state was that there was no question of talks with them till they did bid farewell to the guns. This way he endorsed the stand of the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, and opposed the Congress leader Mufti Mohammed Sayed's idea of holding parleys with the insurgents.
He suggested to the militants not to get misled by Pakistan and if they had any problems, those could be resolved through negotiations.
The third message he conveyed was that the Centre was not ignorant of the financial difficulties the state of Jammu and Kashmir faced and assured that during the next meeting with the state team, led by Farooq Abdullah the problem would be discussed in detail and all possible financial assistance would be made available to the state.
What impressed the listeners in Srinagar was his statement in which he expressed his anguish over the disastrous impact of insurgency in the state. Mothers have lost their sons, wives their husbands and children their parents, and a large number of families have been uprooted from their homes and hearths. Thousands of them, belonging to both Hindu and Muslim communities in Kashmir, have been forced to leave the state and seek shelter in other parts of India."
His painful cry "I share your pain and grief and sense of loss. Your suffering is my suffering and the suffering of all our fellow Indians," is said to have moved many to tears.
Mr Vajpayee created history when he visited Kargil and Tangdhar sectors which had been rocked by intermittent but heavy Pak firing. He mixed with the people and prominent citizens not only in Srinagar but also in Leh, the cold desert of the state, in Kargil, Tangdhar and Hiranagar where thousands of people had to flee to safer places since June last owing to heavy Pak firing.
Presumably it was his interaction with people who had to bear the brunt of Pak firing that Mr Vajpayee lashed out at Pakistan saying that for 50 years "the rulers of Pakistan have failed in their design to break Jammu and Kashmir away from India. They have not succeeded. They will never succeed."
He conveyed to Pakistan the need for stopping the border turmoil when India had resumed bilateral talks on a range of issues."
Initially, the Prime Minister had been advised to cancel his trip to Kargil because the airstrip in the Shia-dominated area was within the firing range of Pak gunners. He did not agree and the Chief Minister is said to have been in favour of Mr Vajpayee making it to Kargil to leave no scope for detractors to exploit the communal polarisation between the Buddhists in Leh, where the Prime Minister visited first, and the Muslims in Kargil. His trip to Kargil paid dividends as the peoples' response there was bigger than that in Leh.
Mr Vajpayee had detailed discussions with the Governor, Mr Girish Chander Saxena, Dr Farooq Abdullah and other senior functionaries of the police and the Army. The state government pleaded for immediate financial assistance in order to take in hand development projects.
The Prime Minister was informed in clear terms that the state government's performance had been affected by the cash crunch. The Chief Minister explained to him the need for waiving off Rs 1,275 crore central loan because the state government had to spend over Rs 400 crore a year on the servicing of the loan. Mr Vajpayee was also requested to reimburse the security related expenses which had touched nearly Rs 1200 crore. The state government also expressed its concern over the delay in releasing even the first instalment of over Rs 900 crore action plan when the Centre had promised to pay Rs 43 crore by the first week of last month.
Informed sources said the Prime Minister suggested to the state authorities and senior Army functionaries to take in hand suitable measures which could prevent Pakistan from sending trained militants and weapons into the state.
He complimented the forces and other security agencies for rendering great service to the nation by guarding the borders under difficult circumstances. He suggested to them to develop a mechanism which could further reduce the rate of infiltration and arms smuggling.
If the purpose of the
Prime Minister to visit the forward areas in the state
was to convey a clear and bold message to Pakistan that
New Delhi will neither succumb to any pressure nor allow
any third party mediation on Kashmir, Mr Vajpayee's
mission may have not gone waste. However, those in the
government who had expected the Prime Minister to
announce an economic package for the state were
SRINAGAR, Dec 8 (PTI) Ten persons, including six militants, have been killed in militancy-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening.
Two top militants were among six militants arrested by the security forces who unearthed some militant hideouts and seized a large quantity of arms and ammunition in the state during the period, an official spokesman said today.
He said four militants and a civilian were killed in an encounter with the security forces in the Kote Dhar area of Rajouri district yesterday.
The encounter broke out when militants attacked the security forces when they were engaged in search operations in the village. Four AK assault rifles, 35 hand-grenades and 12 kg of RDX were seized from the militants, he said.
The security forces shot dead two unidentified militants in another encounter at Rangath Gali in Kupwara last night. Two AK assault rifles, a pistol, 35 grenades, 10 kg of RDX, a wireless set, 3,000 rounds of ammunition and six magazines were seized from them.
Militants shot dead a former battalion commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, Mr Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, at Gunjal in the Pattan area of Baramula late last night.
The spokesman said militants killed Mohammad Ramzan Malik in the Bandipora area of Baramula district last evening, while a teenaged boy, Shafat Hussain, was killed in an explosion at Potha village of Poonch district last night.
Four militants, including a self-styled battalion commander and a platoon commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, were arrested by the security forces at Shaheed Gunj, Shalla Kadal and Tankenwari in Srinagar today.
The security forces raided militant hideouts at Shanglipora and Lassipora in Badgam last evening and arrested a militant besides smashing their hideouts. A pistol, a rocket projectile gun, four rockets, 11 G rifle grenades, a hand-grenade, three magazines and 525 rounds were seized.
The Jammu and Kashmir
police arrested a militant along with 22 detonators, 100
rounds of ammunition, four magazines and four remote
controls from the Sain-Smat area of Rajouri yesterday,
the spokesman said.
SRINAGAR, Dec 8 (PTI) The bandh called by Hizbul Mujahideen in protest against alleged human rights violations by the security forces evoked partial response in the city and surrounding areas today.
While shops and business establishments remained closed in most parts of Srinagar and some parts of the valley, essential bus services operated, official sources said.
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