Mast Gul escorted to LoC after shrine siege: Jaswant
‘He Had Vacated The Dargah’
GK MONITORING DESK
Srinagar, July 28: Former External Affairs Minister and NDA vice-presidential candidate Jaswant Singh has said that Pakistani militant commander Mast Gul, who was involved in the 1995 siege of Chrar-e-Sharief shrine in Kashmir, was “escorted to the Line of Control” after he had “vacated the dargah,” Indian Express reported today.
Speaking at The Idea Exchange Programme of The Indian Express, Singh was responding to a question on whether the country was still facing the consequences of the Kandahar hijacking. As the External Affairs Minister then, Singh had accompanied three top militants for release in exchange for hijacked passengers of an Indian Airlines flight.
“Are we suffering the consequences of that? No,” he said. “I remind you of a wonderful dargah in the Valley that was burnt. Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. I know for a fact that Mast Gul vacated the dargah and he was escorted all the way to the LoC and permitted to go.”
Singh’s remark is significant as even 17 years after the Chrar-e-Sharief incident, mystery surrounds it, particularly who gutted the shrine and how Gul had managed to escape from the shrine to surface in Pakistan.
In March 1995, a large group of militants led by Gul, many of them foreigners, were holed up around the 14th-century Chrar-e-Sharief shrine. For two months, a standoff had continued between the militants and Army till the shrine was burnt down in a mysterious fire on May 10. While the Army had claimed that militants had triggered blasts, the militants had accused the Army of damaging the dargah in an attack to flush them out. Twenty militants, two Armymen and five civilians had died in the operation.
Though the Army had arrested a Pakistani militant named Abu Jindal and paraded him before the media, Gul and other Pakistani militants had disappeared.
A short while later, Gul surfaced in Pakistan, touring the country to raise funds and recruit young men for jihad in Kashmir. Later, he again disappeared, only to resurface in his native Khurram in Pakistan’s north-western province in November 1999.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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