Tuesday, July 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Security agencies adopt new plan
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Security agencies engaged in battling subversives and terrorists in the Kashmir valley are now reorienting their strategy in the post-Agra summit period which, expectedly, has seen a sudden spurt in killings and attacks.

Highly placed security officials said the strategy involved identifying vulnerable areas, redeployment of forces to strengthen weak points and more mobile patrols to respond immediately in case of an attack.

The sources said several rounds of meetings have taken place during the past three days to fine tune the strategy as the authorities were expecting more attacks in the valley specially in view of the strident stand taken by the jehadis and its wide publicity in the the Urdu press in Pakistan.

The active involvement of Pakistan’s powerful Inter-services Intelligence (ISI), which has been patronising the terrorist groups in the valley, in these renewed attacks was not being ruled out. The publicity blitzkreig of the jehadi viewpoint in Pakistan after the Agra summit was also being seen as the handiwork of the ISI.

The sources said Urdu newspapers were full of strident statements of these jehadi groups which had as early as July 5 told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at a meeting that the “way to liberate Kashmir was through jehad and not negotiations”.

A report in the Pakistan Observer of July 11, quoting a senior government official said the president had assured the jehadis at the meeting that “there will be no compromise on our principled stand on Kashmir”.

Another report dated July 18 said Mr Syed Salahudin, supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen and chairman of the Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC), reiterated this and claimed that the only way to “liberate Kashmir was through a military struggle”.

Analysts monitoring the Pakistani press, particularly after the summit, said since most of the reports were identical in content and tone, it could be construed that these were orchestrated. “This has further fuelled militancy in the valley during the past few days as the fundamentalists have taken it as a signal”, according to one intelligence analyst.

Added to this were the subtle indications from General Musharraf that it was because of the “sacrifices of the jehadis that he was able to raise the Kashmir issue strongly at the summit, a task which no other democratically elected leader had been able to achieve”.

According to these analysts it was now evident that after having failed at the summit, General Musharraf would be playing to his domestic gallery and fall back on jehadis. This was also evident at his press conference which was dominated by his Kashmir obsession.Back


Truce declared in Nepal

Kathmandu, July 23
The Nepalese Government and Maoist rebels declared a truce this evening ending an over five-year-long insurgency.

Newly appointed Premier Sher Bahadur Deuba, in a statement here today, appealed to the Maoists to halt the violence and resolve the problem through dialogue. A few hours later, the president of the Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal - known as “Prachanda” - issued a statement urging the rebels “to stop the pre-planned programme.” UNIBack

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