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Pak using militants ahead of dialogue with US

india Updated: Mar 22, 2010 20:07 IST
Arun Joshi

Pakistan has raised temperatures on Kashmir on the eve of first US–Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington on Wednesday as it is making the militant leaders to threaten India over Kashmir and water.

Close on heels of threats of war against India hurled by Jamat-ud-Dawa, in reality Lashkar-e-Toiba, chief Hafiz Sayeed has come another threat.

This time, United Jehad Council (UJC) chairman Syed Salaha-ud-Din has told a TV channel in Pakistan that the militants in Kashmir have escalated violence and these activities would be “ increased” in coming days.

"In the field, the activities of the mujahideen have increased and are increasing according to a definite plan. We are fighting a guerrilla war that cannot be at a constant pace. There is sit and stop, according to a plan, and we are continuing our war," he was quoted as saying in the interview with Dawn news channel.

Salaha-ud-Din also heads Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen, Kashmir’s indigenous group.

It is no coincident that the threats to India on Kashmir have come when Pakistani leadership, including foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Army chief Gen Ashfaaq Kayani and heads of various wings of Pakistani establishment have landed in Washington for the strategic dialogue in Washington DC, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her team.

This follows a traditional pattern of Pakistan to bring Kashmir into focus on the eve of its crucial talks with the US in which the terrorism within Pakistan and the activities of terrorists in India and Afghanistan are to figure prominently.

Since February 4, when UJC held a meeting in Pakistan occupied Kashmir capital Muzzaffarabad , which was attended among others by some ISIO officials and former ISI chief Hamid Gul, architect of Pakistan’s plans of using militants in Kashmir in 1990, there have been incidents in the Valley, particularly in Sopore in north and Kulgam and Pulwama in south Kashmir, in which Indian army lost two Captains and four soldiers .

Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda sees “nothing alarming” in the latest threats. But, he made it clear that “ threats or no threats, we cannot afford to lower our guard.”

He told Hindustan Times, “We know the type of capability they have, that is being countered. Only yesterday, we killed a close aide of Salahaud-Din, “Pervez Musharraf “. The only thing is that we don’t have to be complacent.”

“Salaha-ud-Din is saying what Pakistan wants him to say and it is a known secret that terrorist training camps (42 of them) in Pok and Pakistan, Salaha-ud-Din and ISI have been part of these militancy breeding grounds for years now. It’s all doing of Pakistan,” he said.

“Pakistan has not diluted its strategy on Kashmir. Their strategy is to continue to keep the pot boiling, and the only silver lining is that the locals are gradually distancing from them. They are no longer an easy prey as they were in the past,” Khoda said.