Bid to revive militancy in Punjab, says Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh; To free terrorists in '99 was a national decision, says Jaswant Singh
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  • In response to Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar’s letter seeking a review of the ‘black list’ containing names of Sikh youths with alleged militant links, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has noted that the Government has credible information of efforts to revive militancy in Punjab, and hence he cannot do away with the list. “The list cannot be done away with as the Government and our agencies have credible information of efforts being made by extremist groups to revive militancy in Punjab ... Much of this is concentrated in countries abroad, like the UK, Germany, Canada and especially Pakistan, where such groups receive a great deal of encouragement from remnants of extremist groups as well as support from other hostile forces," Dr. Singh’s letter said. Dr. Singh cautioned that extremist groups elsewhere have not given up their attempts to revive militancy in the State1.

    Speaking on the floor of the Rajya Sabha on February 5, former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh noted that the decision to release three dreaded terrorists in exchange for 156 hostages aboard the hijacked Indian Airlines plane at Kandahar in 1999 was taken at an all-party meeting. “It was a national decision not a single party decision,” the former minister said2.

    Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal told the Lok Sabha on March 4 that ‘most individuals’ and ‘terrorist groups’ operating in India have linkages with groups and agencies across the border, mainly in Pakistan and PoK. Jaiswal, also noted that LeT, JeM, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), and HuM were among terrorist groups that have international networks3.