Thursday, June 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Infiltration has not stopped: Advani
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26
Union Home Minister L.K. Advani today said that infiltration from Pakistan had not “totally stopped” although there had been some decrease in it.

This was stated by Mr Advani while replying to a clarification sought by some members, during the meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to the Home Ministry held here, on the ground reality on the border with Pakistan.

The Home Minister, who presided over the meeting, also told members representing various political parties that the government had information that over 3,000 Al-Qaida men had crossed over to Pakistan from their earlier bases.

Earlier, the committee was informed that multi-agency approach and implementation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) had led to significant achievements in the detection of funding channels to terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

The committee members were also informed about various channels used by Pakistan to fund terrorist and secessionist activities in India.

A brief factual presentation was also made before the Consultative Committee on channel of funding adopted by Islamabad through trans-border smugglers, infiltrating mercenaries, through the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, through Hawala operators and also charitable organisation.

The Home Ministry’s assessment said that POTA had been an effective instrument in tackling the overground support base for the terrorists and that the multi-agency approach yielded better results in tackling the menace and speedy trial of cases would have deterrent effect.

It said that charitable institutions funded from abroad should be closely monitored and banks and credit institutions based in Jammu and Kashmir should be regularly audited for suspicious transactions.



Al-Qaida men kill 10 Pak soldiers

Islamabad, June 26
Ten Pakistani soldiers and two suspected members of the Al-Qaida terrorist network were killed in a gunbattle in the Pakistani tribal area, bordering Afghanistan, officials said here today.

Among those killed were six Pakistan army soldiers, four para-military troopers and two Chechens, who were believed to be members of Al-Qaida, Interior Ministry officials said.

Another Chechen militant was detained, an official said.

The Pakistan security forces personnel came under heavy fire while searching for Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters at Wana, the officials said.

They said Pakistani troops started their operations following definite leads given by American FBI officials. Pakistan troops encountered the Al-Qaida men as they lurked in Azan Warsak, just across the border from Afghanistan.

The gunbattle lasted for four hours. US planes were flying low over the area, Azam Warsak, 14 ks from Wana, the centre of South Waziristan agency.

Pakistan for the first time in the history has deployed its troops in tribal-dominated Wajiristan agency which is semi-autonomous.

This is the second time Pakistan army suffered major casualties while hunting Al-Qaida and Taliban militants, near Afghan borders. Seven Pakistani security forces personnel were killed in December when they intercepted a group of Islamic militants while they were crossing the borders. PTI



Pervez seeks power to sack elected govt

Islamabad, June 26
Barely four months ahead of general election, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today unveiled a series of constitutional amendments to arm himself with the power to sack elected governments and to provide a permanent role for the army in the country’s power structure.

The amendments, to be finalised and approved by the Cabinet and National Security Council (NSC) at a later date, were released to the press by Information Secretary Syed Anwar Mahmood. Claiming that the amendments were aimed at establishing a “sustainable” federal democracy, Mr Mehmood told the mediapersons here that the form of government remained entirely parliamentary with the executive authority of the state unambiguously vested in the office of the Prime Minister.

Another controversial amendment proposed to be introduced by Musharraf is the formation of NSC by making the entire top brass of the military as its members. PTI


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