General Pervez Musharrafs regime publicly said that Pakistan provided diplomatic, political and moral support for “˜freedom fighters in Kashmir ““ including the terrorist group HUM ““ but denied providing the militants training or material”
However, there was an advance in the US position slightly in India’s favour and to the detriment of Pakistan in that, the US described all attacks on civilians, not only by the HUM, but also by other Kashmiri groups operating from Pakistan, as terrorism. The report said:
“Credible reports continued to indicate official Pakistani support for Kashmiri militant groups that engage in terrorism, such as the HUM… Kashmiri extremist groups continued to operate in Pakistan, raising funds and recruiting new cadre. The groups were responsible for numerous terrorist acts in 1999 against civilian targets in India-held Kashmir and elsewhere in India.”
However, the report was silent on violence against the security forces and, when asked about this, Sheehan said: “in a war, if military forces are attacking each other, it is not terrorism. But if an armed terrorist organisation attacks civilian targets, that is terrorism.”
While referring to the shifting of the locus of terrorism from the Middle East to South Asia during 1999, the report for 1999 used the expression “the locus of terrorism directed against the US.”
The report for 1999 described in detail in the following words the demarche made by the US to Pakistan regarding Afghanistan-based terrorists, including bin Laden jilnd his mercenaries, threatening the US: “The US repeatedly has asked Islamabad to end support to elements that conduct terrorist training in Afghanistan, to interdict travel of militants to and from camps in Afghanistan, to prevent militant groups from acquiring weapons and to block financial and logistic support to camps in Afghanistan. In addition, the US has urged Islamabad to close certain madrasas or religious schools, that actually serve as conduits for terrorism.”
Credible reports continued to indicate official Pakistani support for Kashmiri militant groups that engage in terrorism, such as the HUM”¦ Kashmiri extremist groups continued to operate in Pakistan, raising funds and recruiting new cadre.
But significantly, it was silent on any demarche made by it with Islamabad regarding action against Pakistan-based terrorists operating against India. It merely said: “Pakistani officials from both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs Government and, after his removal by the military, General Pervez Musharrafs regime publicly stated that Pakistan provided diplomatic, political and moral support for ‘freedom fighters’ in Kashmir – including the terrorist group HUM – but denied providing the militants training or material”
Since the Sarin gas attack in Tokyo and the Oklahoma bombing in 1995, counter-terrorism experts had been concerned over the possibility of what has come to be known as the new or catastrophic terrorism, which is defined as any act, whatever be the weapon used, that causes or is likely to cause fatal human casualties of more than 1,000 and/or serious damage of a medium or long-term nature to the national, regional or global economy and vital infrastructures.
During these discussions of the 1990s, five States of the world had been cited by many experts as worrisome, from which acts of catastrophic terrorism were most likely to emanate, either because they were harbouring or, soft in dealing with terrorist groups, which would have no qualms in resorting to catastrophic terrorism or because they were consciously using such groups as a weapon to achieve their strategic objectives.
These countries were Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Greece. Greece was cited not because of any complicity with the terrorists, but because of its weak counter-terrorism apparatus.