Friday, January 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi

J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Murmurs of protest in APHC against foreign mercenaries
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 3
A section in the All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has begun to campaign against the presence of foreign mercenaries in Jammu and Kashmir feeling that their subversive activities had hijacked the “freedom struggle” in Kashmir which was an “indigenous movement”.

The Peoples’ Conference, headed by Mr Abdul Gani Lone, which is an important constituent of the APHC, has been in the forefront of this campaign. 

Mr Lone had convened a meeting of his party workers and leaders where it was decided that other constituents of the APHC be persuaded to demand recall of all foreign mercenaries operating in Jammu and Kashmir so that the “freedom struggle” was run by Kashmiris.

In fact, in the last over one year Mr Lone has voiced his dismay over the role of the foreign mercenaries. He has given vent to his feelings not only within Jammu and Kashmir but during his trip to Pakistan and occupied Kashmir where he had suggested to leaders of different militant groups to allow Kashmiris to fight for their “rights”.

Mr Lone and his supporters are of the opinion that the freedom movement launched in 1989 by Kashmiri youths had been weakened by the entry of foreign mercenaries.

“We have suffered diplomatic reverses as many countries have started treating this movement as Pakistan sponsored show on the basis of presence of scores of foreign mercenaries in Jammu and Kashmir”, they explain.

The Peoples Conference Chairman is said to have conveyed his feelings on the issue to the APHC Chairman, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, and other leaders of the Hurriyat Conference. He had even suggested to Prof Bhat to keep the issue on the agenda of next meeting of the Executive Committee of the APHC. 


Traders in Jammu fears deterioration in border situation with further damage in the state economy.

(28k, 56k)



A mother carries her child at a refugee camp
A mother carries her child at a refugee camp in Akhnoor sector on Thursday. 
— Reuters 

However, so far there has been no response from other constituents, especially from Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and Sheikh Aziz Ahmed since both of them have been treating these foreign mercenaries as “friends” of those Kashmiris who were engaged in the “freedom struggle”.

Informed sources said that even if the APHC Executive Committee discussed the issue it would simply be an academic exercise because the 23-party conglomerate has no control over the militant outfits, especially those run by foreign mercenaries. And if the APHC Executive Committee gave a call to the foreign mercenaries to cross back to Pakistan there would be hardly any response from them because they continue to be guided and controlled by agencies across the border.

Not only a sizeable section of people in the Kashmir valley but also local militants abhor the presence of foreign mercenaries in the state but they do not dare to challenge them. The reasons are that distancing from the foreign mercenaries would result in inviting displeasure from Pakistan and its agencies thereby forcing the opponents to lose favours from Islamabad. Secondly, the local militants have lost their sinews to cross swords with the foreign mercenaries who are better equipped and have better resources to secure bases for themselves.

According to eyewitness accounts, if some militants and groups of separatists continue to support foreign mercenaries it is the result of convenience not conviction. They know what odds Mr Lone suffered when on three occasions his house was attacked and he managed to survive these attacks.

Only two factors can force the foreign mercenaries to “retreat” and cross back to Pakistan. Either Pakistan and its agencies should order them to return or the Indian security forces be in a position to launch massive operations against them. Once an impression developed in Kashmir and elsewhere in the state that foreign mercenaries were at the receiving end the security forces may receive cooperation from the people in identifying their bases and hideouts and in eliminating them.

As such the APHC is not in a position to dictate terms to the militants, leave alone the foreign mercenaries. The APHC’s shop is in tact so long it does not confront the rebel outfits, whether managed by the local youths or by foreign mercenaries.Top

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 |