Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=2/15/2000
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
TITLE=PAKISTAN / KASHMIR SEPARATISTS
NUMBER=5-45454
BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE
DATELINE=MUZAFARABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  For the past ten years, a small city in 
northern Pakistan has served as the nerve center for 
one of the world's most protracted and violent 
insurgencies.  Muzafarabad -- the capital of Pakistani 
Kashmir -- is home to militant separatist groups who 
have been fighting Indian security forces for nearly a 
decade for control of India's Jammu and Kashmir State.    
V-O-A'S Jim Teeple reports the militant separatists 
who call Muzafarabad home show no sign of ending their 
fight anytime soon. 
TEXT: 
//   MARKET SOUNDS.ESTABLISH..AND FADE UNDER TEXT //
The central market in Muzafarabad looks like any other 
urban market on the Indian sub-continent.   Crowded 
and bustling, its stalls full of fresh vegetables the 
market looks the very picture of normalcy. 
But Muzafarabad is no ordinary town.  Many of the 
shoppers at the market are heavily bearded men dressed 
in camouflage clothing.  They are separatist militants 
who belong to any one of nearly a dozen groups 
fighting Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir.   Both 
India and Pakistan claim the former princely state.   
Ten years ago -- after a violent separatist struggle 
began inside Indian Kashmir -- many Kashmiri 
separatist militants moved to Muzafarabad on the 
Pakistani side of the "line of control," which divides 
Kashmir. There they have stayed -- crossing the 
mountains, which ring Muzafarabad, back into Indian 
Kashmir to attack Indian security forces.  
The separatist militants call themselves "Mujhadeen" 
or holy warriors and say they are fighting a holy war 
against the occupation of Islamic lands by India.  One 
of those militants is Sadiq Butt -- a 30-year old 
resident of the Ambor refugee camp, which is home to 
about one thousand Kashmiri refugees on the outskirts 
of Muzafarabad.  Sadiq Butt says he is a fighter for  
Hizbul Mujhadeen, or the Party of God's Warriors.  He 
says he and his colleagues are motivated by their 
Islamic faith that gives them an advantage over the 
Indian forces they fight. 
            //   BUTT ACTUALITY //
They do not like to die, that is their main problem.  
When we are going to fight against them we want to 
die.  It is our Islamic principle that we should die.  
They do not like to fight against us.  When they get a 
chance they go back (retreat).  When we get a chance 
we fight against them.  
            //   END ACTUALITY //  
In recent months, there has been a sharp upsurge in 
fighting in the Kashmir Valley with separatist 
militants staging so-called "suicide attacks" on 
heavily fortified Indian Army garrisons.  Separatist 
militants who belong to Lakshar-e-Toiba, or the Army 
of the Pure, have carried out many of the attacks.  
Abdullah Muntazir -- a spokesman for the group -- says 
the attacks are not "suicidal" at all, but are modeled 
on the so-called "Fedayeen" attacks -- similar to 
those were carried out by Palestinian guerrillas 
against Israeli targets. 
            //   MUNTAZIR ACTUALITY //
There have been 25 Mujhadeen who have participated in 
these "Fedayeen" actions and only 13 have been 
martyred (killed).  Twelve have come back safely so 
this is not suicide -- but this is an action that is 
very dangerous which looks impossible but our men do 
it. 
            //   END ACTUALITY //
Abdullah Muntazir says the attacks are part of a new 
strategy resulting from his group's disappointment at 
the withdrawal of infiltrators from the Kargil Heights 
on the Indian side of the "line of control" last July. 
The withdrawal was at the behest of the Pakistani 
Government.   Abdullah Muntazir says Lakshar-e-Toiba 
and the other militant groups working out of 
Muzafarabad are constantly thinking of new ways of 
fighting the Indian forces.  He warns that an even 
newer more deadly strategy against India will be 
unveiled within the next month or two.  He refuses to 
give details of what it might be.    
            //   REST OPTIONAL //  
For years, India has asserted Pakistan supports and 
directs the activities of the Kashmiri separatists who 
India calls terrorists.   The charges have become more 
heated recently, with India calling on Pakistan to be 
declared a "terrorist state."  India says Pakistan 
supported Kashmiri separatists who hijacked an Indian 
Airlines plane in December.  Pakistan strongly denies 
involvement in the recent hijacking and says it only 
gives the Kashmiri separatists moral and diplomatic 
support.  
For their part, separatist militants like Abdullah 
Muntazir deny being terrorists -- saying their "jihad" 
against what they call the Indian occupation of 
Kashmir follows strict Islamic rules against harming 
civilians.  Abdullah Muntazir of Laskshar-e-Toiba says 
it will be a "jihad" that liberates Kashmir and not 
result in a negotiated settlement.   He says it took a 
"jihad" to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan 
and it will take a "jihad"" to drive Indian forces out 
of Kashmir. (Signed) 
neb/jlt/wd  
15-Feb-2000 06:59 AM EDT (15-Feb-2000 1159 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
.





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