Terrorists targeted a political rally by moderate National Conference party in
Anantnag district of
Jammu & Kashmir by hurling a grenade killing 5 people, including a former
legislator, and injuring 60 others. The NC Anantnag district president and
former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Ghulam Nabi Dar and a former
Minister Ms Sakina Ittoo were leading a rally celebrating the grant of district
status to Kulgam when the terrorist lobbed the grenade. Dar died in the
hospital while Ittoo was injured. The condition of 5 others was critical.
Ittoo was advised by police not to divert from her scheduled route and
apparently this direct was not followed as NC workers stopped her and took her
to a different town. Her father was a former Speaker of the Assembly and was
assassinated by terrorists in 1990. Ittoo has so far survived 6 attempts on her
life since the last elections 3 years ago.
Dar was a former MLA from Kulgam constituency twice in the past. He was first
elected to the Assembly in 1977 and re-elected in 1983.
Terrorist attacks have grown sharply this year following intelligence that
infiltration has grown up radically. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad claims
that the infiltration has gone up 4 times. A recent
top-level security review found there is increased activity and
material funding from Pakistan’s
Intelligence (ISI) to bring the level of terrorist activity to the 1989
levels. They attributed the increased ISI funding to fears of success of the
In a recent television interview former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
claimed that use of foreign terrorists, increased terrorist activity, and overt
state-sponsorship of terrorism happened after she left power and
specifically during the tenure of
Pervez Musharraf. While conceding that her regime had taken a hard line
stance when in power, she rejected the suggestion that it was only the Army
that can negotiate peace in Kashmir. She accused the Army of encouraging the
ISI and operating as a state within a state.