Tuesday, December 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Pak deploys troops along LoC
Army on high alert in face of build-up
Tribune News Service and UNI

Jammu, December 17
Pakistan has amassed more troops and has rushed in heavy armour along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Boundary (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, a top military official said today.

The official said Pakistani troops have formed “strike formations” along the border and were swiftly amassing tanks and other heavy armour in their domain, he said.

The regulars from the 10 and 30 Corps of the Pakistan army deployed in the area have been reinforced with additional troops to strengthen the offensive formation and consequently the build-up has become a sizeable one, he averred.

Troops from 12, 31, 11 and 1 Corps which are specialised in combat operations have been rushed here. This troop movement is backed by amassing of heavy arms, including Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), tanks and other hardware, which signal that troops are being readied for combat operations, he said.

The Pakistan army normally had two types of formations. The first was the holding formation and the second was strike formation. The process of amassing border troops began when the personnel from 10 and 30 Corps who had gathered on the other side of the LoC, did not return to their barracks even after the completion of their winter exercises.

This build-up comes in the wake of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s meeting with senior corps commanders to take stock of the situation arising out of the December 13 fidayeen attack on Parliament.

“What is particularly worrying is the fact that they have brought in heavy armour along both the LoC and the IB. They are trying to fortify their positions, and we are watching their moves closely and have also put our troops on heightened alert. What else do you do in such a situation?” he said.

Highly placed Defence Ministry sources said the Pakistan Government recently ordered cancellation of leave to the army personnel, from the lowest to the highest ranks. It has also ordered the troops, brought close to the border for carrying out winter war exercises, to stay put.

The sources said by now the troops should have gone back to the barracks but it has not happened warranting “high alert on our side.”


PM reviews Pak army build-up
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today reviewed the security situation arising out of Pakistan’s army build-up and the cancellation of leave of Pakistan army personnel and was briefed by the three service chiefs of the Indian military preparedness in the event of a flare-up.

Mr Vajpayee conducted the strategic review at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) today in which Union Home Minister L.K. Advani’s statement to be made in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday was also discussed. Mr Advani is expected to detail his government’s response to the December 13 terrorist attack on Parliament in his statement tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the government strategy is to lay POTO Bill immediately after Mr Advani finishes his statement. Sources said this was to embarrass the Opposition, which is against POTO, and “expose” it in the eyes of the people to convey a message that here is an opposition which is opposing POTO even after the terrorist attack on Parliament.

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh told reporters after a 90-minute meeting that the government, which discussed the strategic scenario, was alert to the situation arising out of reports of Pakistani buildup along the Line of Control and international border.

Apart from the Prime Minister Mr Advani and Mr Jaswant Singh, the CCS was attended by Defence Minister George Fernandes, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, Army Chief Gen S Padmanabhan, Air Chief A.Y. Tipnis and Naval Chief Sushil Kumar.

The CCS also reviewed the security measures taken by the government after the December 13 attack on Parliament.


Pak spy network busted
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 17
The police has busted an espionage net and arrested its Pakistan intelligence trained members, namely Mirza Musalin, Beg of Daria Ganj New Delhi, Mohammad Aslam and Mohammad Naseer, alias Sameer, settled at Jodhpur and Jaipur, respectively, and Raees Shamshudin of New Delhi.

Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP, talking to newsmen here today said that the accused besides indulging in havala and spying activities, were providing vital information regarding defence deployment and installations to the ISI to carry out terrorist activities in India.

Mr Angra said during their interrogation in Pathankot, the accused had confessed working for the ISI for the past several years. They were allegedly supplying information through e-mail and coordinating the activities of ISI operatives to facilitate sabotage of vital installations, including Army installations.

Mr Angra said the accused were asked to observe and gather intelligence about movements of the Army in Jodhpur and Jaipur.

Raees, one of the accused, was inducted into this spying gang through Munni of Delhi. Munni was working for Aslam Sheikh, a resident of Karachi. He allegedly distributed fake currency worth Rs 3 lakh during November and December.

The interrogation is continuing and more arrests are likely.


CPM warns against attack on PoK
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
The CPM today cautioned the Vajpayee government against any attack on the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as it could well lead into a “full scale war”.

In an advice to the government, the CPM Politburo said that instead of attacking the PoK, all evidence related with the attack on Parliament House on December 13 be placed before the United Nations and the international community.

“This will provide the necessary backing to the demand that organisations like the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba operating from Pakistan be proceeded against. The Pakistan President will then be called to act on his statement that if evidence is produced, action will be taken against those responsible”, a CPM statement said here.

Terming the demand by some sections in the BJP to strike the PoK as “irresponsible”, the statement said this would not serve the purposes of eliminating the terrorist organisations but “spark off a full-scale war.

This will shift the focus away from India’s strong case against terrorist activities and need for firm action”.


Cong to back anti-terrorism moves
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
The Congress today said that it would support any “well-considered step” the government may take to combat terrorism.

Talking to mediapersons, Congress chief spokesman Jaipal Reddy said it was for the government to decide its response to the terrorist attack as only the government had all the requisite information.

Though the party said that it would decide the floor strategy in Parliament tomorrow, Mr Reddy said the party would raise the issue of security-lapses in the terrorist attack on Parliament.

He said it was not the Congress but Home Minister L.K. Advani who had first raised the issue of security breach. “The Home Minister said there was no security breach to which we responded,” Mr Reddy said.

The Congress had stalled the proceedings of Parliament last week demanding the resignation of Defence Minister George Fernandes over CAG’s report that indicted the Defence Ministry over purchases made during the Kargil conflict. The controversial Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance is also listed as the main business in Lok Sabha tomorrow.

He said the party was satisfied with the investigation done by the police into the terrorist attack on Parliament. “We have reason to believe that the terrorists were nurtured by Pakistan agencies.

“Nobody can deny the nefarious nexus between the LeT, the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Pakistan agencies,” Mr Reddy said, adding that Pakistan should respond to the Indian demands.

Meanwhile, senior Akali leader Jathedar Rachpal Singh today supported the demand made by the BJP to cross the Line of Control and attack the terrorist training camps in the PoK.

Empty rhetoric or dialogue will serve no purpose, Mr Rachpal Singh, who heads the Shiromani Akali Dal (Master Tara Singh) said. Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |