Today's Paper

Pak. detains three aides of Salahuddin

ISLAMABAD May 22. Hours after registering a case against the armed guards of the Hizb-ul Mujahideen chief, Syed Salahuddin, for displaying arms publicly, Pakistan has launched a crackdown on the outfit by detaining three of his lieutenants.

The arrests are part of the new policy not to allow the Hizb to carry on with its organisational activities from the soil of Pakistan.

The Interior Minister, Faisal Saleh Hayat, had said that the outfit activists would not be allowed to hold demonstrations, open offices and move around with weapons.

At the same time, he categorised the Hizb as a "Kashmir-based mujahideen" organisation and said Pakistan had no jurisdiction to ban it.

The organisation would be treated on a par with banned outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad as for as its activities inside Pakistan are concerned.

Since last month's peace initiative of the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and visit of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, Islamabad had been at pains to emphasise that it would not allow any individual or organisation to use its soil to promote any hostile activities against any country.

It had sought to emphasise that Pakistan would continue its "diplomatic, moral and political" support to Kashmiris and would not sideline the Kashmir issue in future dialogues with New Delhi.

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