Monday, January 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Proof of Pak hand: Mishra

NEW DELHI, Jan 2 (PTI) — National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra today said there was “enough and clear” evidence to suggest that Pakistan was involved in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft and ruled out the possibility of the Taliban having provided arms to the hijackers in Kandahar.

The behaviour of Pakistan from the first day when it said that India had stage-managed the hijacking and that an Indian intelligence agent with a particular seat number was travelling in the aircraft showed Pakistan’s intentions, he said participating in a programme on Star News.

He denied a charge that the Indian Government had indulged in diversionary tactics by accusing Pakistan of involvement.

Mr Mishra, who is also Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, said there was clear evidence that Pakistan was involved in the hijacking.

“We have the names of all hijackers who are Pakistani nationals and the list of militants they wanted to be released comprised a majority of Pakistani nationals,” he said.

Asked if there was any direct link between Pakistan and the hijacking, he said: Pakistani establishment is definitely responsible for it.

“All evidence and radio intercepts we have suggest this. One such intercept showed that a militant outfit in Jammu and Kashmir asked another in the state why it had condemned the hijacking. The other replied: We had instructions from Pakistan.”

Mr Mishra said the Pakistani authorities had denied Capt Devi Sharan, the pilot of the hijacked aircraft, permission to release women and children. “This led to the unfortunate death of Rupin Katyal,” he said.

Mr Mishra quoted the Taliban Information Minister’s statement that the hijackers had crossed over to Quetta in Pakistan though Islamabad had denied that they were there.

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