|J A M M U C
& CK A S H M I R
Wednesday, July 7, 1999
Will Sharifs writ
decision not implemented
Security agencies blamed for spurt
Sharifs effigy burnt
Will Sharifs writ run?
JAMMU, July 6 If the mood of the Jamait-e-Islami, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfits on Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif's announcement promising to withdraw Pak troops and infiltrators from the Kargil and Dras sectors is any guide there is going to be no improvement in the security environment in Jammu and Kashmir.
Senior state government functionaries are keeping their fingers crossed because they are of the opinion that even if peace returned to Kargil, Pak agencies will continue to fuel insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.
They also fear that after the withdrawal of Pak troops and intruders from the icy heights of Kargil and Dras, the area may witness subversive violence hence onward on the pattern of violence in other parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Informed sources said Pak agencies may help militants cross into the Kargil and Dras sectors on the Jammu and Kashmir pattern. This will allow the Pakistan Government to keep its promise which Nawaz Sharif made to Bill Clinton and yet maintain pressure on India by kicking up incident of subversive violence.
The sources say though the withdrawal process has slowly started in the Kargil and Dras sector there are more than 30 mountain peaks which are still under the occupation of Pak troops and infiltrators. This will take some time for the intruders to withdraw across the Line of Control. The sources are sceptical if the writ issued by Nawaz Sharif will run when top leaders of several militant outfits the Jamait-e-Islami and other opposition political group in Pakistan are opposed to the withdrawal.
It may ultimately lead
to a situation similar to the one in various parts of the
valley and in Poonch, Rajouri and Doda where the reins of
subversive violence are in the hands of infiltrators,
including foreign mercenaries.
Pak wants another
JAMMU, July 6 Panun Kashmir, an organisation of Kashmiri displaced families, has demanded that the Government of India declare Pakistan a terrorist state in the light of the 10-year-long Pak-sponsored insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and other states in the country.
Senior Panun Kashmir leaders, including Dr Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman Political Affairs of the organisation, Dr M.K. Teng, Head, Advisory Committee, told newsmen here today that it was ridiculous that India had been requesting the USA to declare Pakistan a terrorist state without New Delhi taking a lead in this respect. They said since India continued to bear the brunt of Pak-sponsored insurgency and naked aggression in Kargil, New Delhi should declare Pakistan a terrorist state which would encourage other nations to follow suit.
Panun Kashmir has also demanded a 'white paper' on the role of the ISI in India which could convince other nations on Islamabad's direct involvement in fuelling subversive violence in Jammu and Kashmir and other states.
Paying tributes to those soldiers and officers who had laid down their lives on the battlefield in the defence of the country Panun Kashmir leaders blamed the successive Central Governments for their failure to meet the "challenges posed by Pakistan to India's unity and integrity in an appropriate manner". They said even at present when the nation is fighting a war in Kargil the policies of Government of India are pervaded by a softness which is costing the country heavily in securing the Line of Control."
According to them in the past several decades Indian leadership had not been able to build a succinct policy to halt what they called "pan-Islamic advances" in Jammu and Kashmir where the Hindus had to bear the brunt of the fundamentalist aggression.
They said that the Government of India and political parties needed to realise that the Kargil intrusion was part of a "broad design of expansion of the Muslim power into the warm region of the Himalayan regions of Jammu and Kashmir." Pakistan's main objective in launching war of subversion against India was to force a second "partition" of India, they added.
Referring to the autonomy report released by the Jammu and Kashmir Government these leaders said the tabling of the report in the state legislature was a prelude to the escalation of proxy war. Decrying the arguments that the restoration of greater autonomy would further national interest they said the restoration of the pre-1953 constitutional status to Jammu and Kashmir was fraught with gave consequences as it would lead to the delinking of the state from the secular political organisation of India and result in another partition of the country.
Of guns, bunkers, Hindi songs
SOMEWHERE IN KARGIL SECTOR, July 6 (PTI) The booms from a battery of 130 mm guns placed strategically in the lee-way side of a hill in the dead of the night adds to the beat of drum to a melodious Hindi song from a "Jawan radio" inside a bunker at a height of 13,000 feet.
"It is a part of life for us. Night or day is all the same. We know the routine will not change at all till the intruders are evicted from the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC)," said a jawan sipping a cup of tea inside one of the 15 bunkers built here to escape the splinters of Pakistani shells.
Life is monotonous. The only emotional break comes once a week when the mail is delivered.
The officers' bunker boasts of an old black and white TV set which catches "Doordarshan" while for the jawans it is "Radio Kashmir" and the much-sought-after programme "Fauji bhaiyon ke liye."
Jokes occasionally enliven the atmosphere. Every jawan, four to five of whom share the warmth of brotherhood and a bunker, takes his turn to make tea as the mercury dips substantially at night.
"There is only material to prepare tea inside the bunkers and enough outlet in the shape of a water pipe jutting out of the bunker for the smoke to come out" said a jawan adding, "The food is cooked at some other place and brought here."
"But little time one gets to relax. The personnel required to operate all six guns throughout the day and night is around 100, but I have a strength of 40 who work on double shifts," says an officer.
"And when the guns are not firing, it is time to take stock of the ammunition and apprising the higher authorities regarding replenishments," he said.
"The guns have fired continuously all night for the past 10 days", said another officer and added, "My men have not rested properly since then."
"I am amazed by their zeal. They hardly get time to sleep. And what sleep will one get with the guns booming all the time?" said the officer.
The day-time operation is to reply to the enemy gunfire while the night operations were task specific, he said.
"We fire around 200-300 shells every night from the six guns positioned here and sometimes the intensity of shelling is so high that the barrels of these guns glow red in the nights," he said.
In the bunkers for jawans, the atmosphere is lighter than the 33-kg shells each gun fires with a range of 27.4-km, but, thanks to the rarefied atmosphere in these heights, the shells achieve a range of almost 33 km.
Amidst this tough life, the soldiers consider the geographic and climatic changes much more challenging then the enemy gun fire.
Asked how did one find
the situation, one soldier shot back, "Yeh koi ladai
hai?" and added, "Hum ek raat ko 200 se gola
dag te hein par jawab mein sirf char ya panch gola ata
hei (we fire 200 to 300 rounds in one night, but in reply
the enemy fires only five or six)".
CM's decision not implemented
JAMMU, July 6 Despite the announcement made by the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, that keeping in view the tight fiscal situation prevailing in the state, department vehicles would be withdrawn from the officials for whom this facility had been provided, the decision had still not been implemented in the state.
Dr Abdullah had stated in the state Assembly about two months back that as part of austerity measures transport facility would be provided only to those persons not less than the ranks of Director. Other officials to whom departmental vehicles had been provided these would be withdrawn. Besides, he had also announced various other austerity measures, including the withdrawal of STD facility to various officials.
The Chief Minister had announced that these facilities would be withdrawn within 24 hours, but the decision had not been implemented even after two months.
Higher officials in the state administration refuse to take the Chief Minister seriously as they say he is known for his "utterances". "The Chief Minister says so many things but he always does not mean those," said a Joint Director of a department on the condition of anonymity.
Dr Abdullah had also announced that to curb government expenditure, all his ministerial colleagues would surrender the departmental vehicles. He had also asked the Chief Secretary, Mr Ashok Jaitely, to issue the instructions regarding this and report back to him.
Security agencies blamed for
JAMMU, July 6 The Vice-Chairman of the Gujjar and Bakerwal Board and Member, Legislative Council, Haji Buland Khan, yesterday said that lack of coordination among various security agencies had resulted in a stepup in militancy related violence in the Gool and Gulabgarh areas of Udhampur district during the past three weeks.
In a statement issued yesterday Mr Khan said during these weeks three senior activists of the National Conference had been gunned down by the militants and no measures had been taken to track down the killers and strengthen the security arrangements.
The National Conference leader said there was no coordination among the BSF, CRPF and the state police personnel. He said during his recent visits to Gool and Gulabgarh he found that the security forces had stopped carrying out operations against the militants.
He said as a result of this laxity militants had resurfaced in the areas creating panic among the people.
Sharifs effigy burnt
JAMMU, July 6 The effigy of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was burnt at a massive rally of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) held under the leadership of Mr Pankaj Kohli, Youth NCP leader, in protest against Pak-backed intrusion in Kargil sector.
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