Tuesday, May 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

India to expose Pak mischief
Meeting with Christina Rocca today 
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13
India will share documentary evidence of Pakistan’s mischief with US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca during her day-long parleys here tomorrow as New Delhi is in no mood to redress Islamabad’s utmost concern of de-escalating military standoff which is costing the neighbour Rs 50 crore a day.

Well-placed sources here disclosed today that Ms Rocca, who arrives here tonight on her fourth visit to this country since she took over, will be shown documentary evidence of Pakistan’s unabated activities in the following areas:

* Escalation in infiltration and exfiltration of terrorists from the Line of Control.

* Continued unprovoked firing by Pakistan from across the LoC.

* Non-action of Pakistan on the List of 20 and the fact that some of the individuals like Dawood Ibrahim named in that list who have renewed their anti-India activities from Pakistani soil in a big way. (The allusion is clearly to Dawood’s involvement in the recent communal carnage in Gujarat.)

Sources said Ms Rocca is rushing here to redress Pakistani concerns about certain manoeuvres and redeployment of forces by India in the recent past which India has done largely because of the upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan is deeply concerned about these manoeuvres and the very deployment of Indian forces on Pakistan borders for over four months now as Pakistani counter-mobilisation of troops is costing Islamabad Rs 50 crore a day. Given the fact that the Pakistani economy is in doldrums, Pakistan is keen on India recalling its troops to peacetime locations, though it has been trying to keep up a brave front and not acting on the Indian demands.

The USA itself is concerned over the situation in South Asia coming to a flashpoint given the possibility of a full-scale war turning into a first-ever nuclear conflict between the two nuclear powers. Besides, Washington is also worried that any further deterioration in the Indo-Pak situation may deeply harm its ongoing operation against the elusive Al Qaida and Taliban leaders and cadres.

Ms Rocca’s visit also comes close on the heels of significant churning taking place in Kashmir militancy. Today Srinagar City Commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Bilal Shaheen, joined the camp of Abdul Majid Dar, the HM supremo of India recently expelled by the Pakistan-based leadership of the outfit.

Moreover, Pakistan has also replaced Brigadier Riaz with Brigadier Hamza as incharge of ISI’s supervisor of Kashmir militants. Brigadier Hamza is being assisted by Colonel Usman, sources disclosed.

Ms Rocca will be meeting senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs here tomorrow and is also likely to have a meeting with External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh.

Significantly, the Americans showed keenness in Ms Rocca meeting Defence Minister George Fernandes also but that is not possible because Mr Fernandes will be busy in Goa for the two-day Indo-French naval exercises beginning there tomorrow.

Ms Rocca leaves for Pakistan on May 16 morning.



No change in Pak attitude

“We will convey (to Ms Christina Rocca) our assessment about Pakistan. There has been little to suggest that there has been any substantive change in the attitude of Pakistan. We have not seen any movement towards (Indian) demands made to Pakistan. There is no change in the situation along the Line of Control. Illegal movements across the LoC continue. There has been nothing in the situation that we can feel comfortable about...

“We have not seen any change in the approach of Pakistan. It continues to be motivated in propelling hostilities towards India. I say with all the authority at my command that there is little cause for satisfaction.” — Ms Nirupama Rao, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, at her news briefing today.



Pak targets 42 outposts
Security camp attacked

Jammu, May 13
Pakistani troops targeted 42 Indian border outposts along the international border in Jammu and Kathua districts last night but did not cause any damage, official sources said here today.

Pakistani Rangers targeted 14 outposts in Arni sector with light and medium machine guns last evening. Later, they fired on 12 outposts in R.S. Pora sector, five in Ramgarh sector and four in Samba sector of Jammu district, they said.

In Kathua district, the Pakistanis attacked three outposts in Rajbagh sector and four in Hiranagar sector last night, the sources said adding that the BSF troops also retaliated.

Intermittent exchange of fire continued till today but no casualty or damage was reported from the Indian side, they said.

Reports from Rajouri and Poonch districts said minor exchanges of fire took place at some places along the Line of Control since last evening.

The Bagialdhara forest in Poonch sector was set ablaze after the Pakistani troops fired some shells last night, the sources said, adding that the fire had also spread towards the Pakistani side of the border.

Meanwhile, a Special Police Officer (SPO) was among two persons killed in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir since last night, the police said today.

Militants shot dead SPO Girdhari Lal at Waffan forest near Panjnari village last night, they said.

Hashimuddin was shot dead by two militants at Sarwan village early today, the police said.

At Balwal village of the district three militants in combat dress barged into the house of Abdul Gani and forcibly took away his gun.

Srinagar: Militants made an abortive attempt to target a security camp in central part of the city with grenades, while a self-styled battalion commander of the Hizb-ul Mujahideen was killed in an encounter in the Kashmir valley on Monday, official sources said.

They said militants fired six rifle grenades at a security camp at Karan Nagar on Monday afternoon.

No loss of life or property was reported as only one of the grenades exploded far from the camp, the sources said.

The other five grenades, which remained unexploded, were recovered by the security forces and later defused, they said.

The self-styled battalion commander of the Hizb-ul Mujahideen, Mayaz Ahmad Lone was killed in an eight-hour long joint operation by the Rashtriya Rifles and BSF at Branwar village in Badgam district of central Kashmir on Monday, a BSF spokesman said.

The troops laid a cordon around the village around 3 am following specific information and challenged the militant. But he refused to surrender and opened fire forcing the jawans to retaliate, leading to the killing of the ultra, he said.

An AK assault rifle, five magazines, an under-barrel grenade launcher and a grenade were recovered from him, the spokesman added.

The security forces averted a major tragedy when they detected and defused a powerful improvised explosive device planted by militants at Sanidgam Sogam in North Kashmir early on Monday.

Militants also shot and wounded one person at Hatwar in the Pulwama district.

The spokesman said the body of Mishri was recovered from Keller forest in Pulwama district on Monday.

Militants also shot dead Hashim Din and Abdul Gani late on Sunday. UNI, PTI


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