Amit Baruah

Spews venom on India-Pakistan peace process on its web sites

  • LeT `boss' has called for a joint probe into Samjhauta carnage
  • `Musharraf's remarks on Kashmir are influenced by U.S.'

    NEW DELHI: The Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based terrorist outfit favoured by Islamabad's intelligence agencies, continues to spew venom on the India-Pakistan peace process.

    Besides regular doses of India-bashing, it is now attacking Pakistan and its President Pervez Musharraf on its well-maintained web sites.

    The Lashkar `boss' Hafiz Saeed, formally the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is once again a free man issuing statements and addressing meetings in Pakistan. He was arrested and freed a couple of times since the September 11 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

    `No restrictions'

    Not only are there any apparent restrictions on what he says or does, the Pakistan Government is obviously turning a blind-eye to the numerous web sites being run by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, whose links with the Lashkar are well known.

    In a February 20 statement posted on www.jamatdawah.com, Saeed called for a "joint India-Pakistan investigation" into the Samjhauta Express carnage, in which 68 people were killed.

    Virtually in the same breath, the Lashkar chief has urged Pakistan's rulers to "confidently confront their Indian counterparts, forcefully and without hesitation, and hold them responsible for this huge loss of life, which took place, entirely, because of their negligence".

    The Lashkar also reserves particular criticism of the Pakistani State, Gen. Musharraf and the recent statements of moderate Kashmiri leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was on a visit to Pakistan.

    "Gen. Musharraf, in particular, must comprehend the fact that he is the sole supporter of his innovative suggestions regarding Kashmir, and that no one else, whether in Pakistan, or in Kashmir, agrees with him on this issue," a January 31 "editorial" posted on the Jamaat web site said.

    According to the editorial, Pakistan's rulers must focus on the country's interest, than blindly following an "insane desire" to list their names in history books regardless of the consequences.

    "The Pakistani Government is in the habit of never consulting, or seeking a consensus among its citizens, before issuing any policy statements, with the obvious result that these statements do not reflect the national perspective, nor do they reflect the national interest," the editorial said.

    According to the Lashkar, the "Kashmiri mujahideen" were the "real party" to the conflict and, therefore, all consultations were "meaningless" until their opinion was sought.

    "The mujahideen has taken up arms for the sake of complete freedom from Indian occupation. No one, therefore, has the right to impose his own personal point of view on how to resolve this issue," it said. Gen. Musharraf's current suggestions on Kashmir were merely "regurgitated theories" of American think tanks, it alleged.

    Another editorial, dated January 30, said India would never let Kashmir go in a peaceful manner.

    "Pakistan wants to resolve the Kashmir issue, but all India wants is `peace' in Kashmir, and that, in India's view, is the solution to the Kashmir issue." "India was shrewdly able to append the freedom struggle in Kashmir with the `war on terror'. Our Pakistani rulers unwittingly became the supporters of terrorism without being able to compel India into conceding any of their demands," it added.