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'Time' sDi'Time' says Taliban deserve no kudos.

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    'Time' sDi'Time' says Taliban deserve no kudos.

    Hands Tied, India Caves in to Hijackers
    Once Afghanistan's Taliban forbade a commando raid to free the hostages, India had little choice but to accede to demands.

    Hands Tied, India Caves in to
    Once Afghanistan's Taliban forbade a commando
    raid to free the hostages, India had little choice
    but to accede to demands

    The Indian Airlines hijacking drama may have ended peacefully, but that won?t help the Taliban?s PR efforts to distance itself from terrorism. The hijackers released their 155 captives in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Friday after India agreed to hand over three high-profile Kashmiri separatist prisoners. New Delhi?s decision to reverse its no-concessions-to-terrorism policy reflected mounting domestic pressure to resolve the standoff at the same time as Afghanistan?s Taliban rulers tied India?s hands. "There were threats of self-immolation by relatives of the hostages in India and it became very difficult for the government to hold out," says TIME New Delhi correspondent Maseeh Rahman. "But once the Taliban refused to allow Indian commandos to storm the plane, India may have had little option."

    The airport tarmac at Kandahar became a battlefield of regional political intrigue as the hostages sweated and shivered through sweltering days and chilly nights: Initially, India looked set to restore relations with the Afghan rulers on the basis of their cooperation with Indian efforts to free the hostages, but then Pakistan - the Taliban?s original patron - put its foot down. "There?s a feeling in New Delhi that Pakistan played a tremendous role in pressuring the Taliban to not allow a commando raid," says Rahman. "Indian commandos were waiting at the airport in Kandahar to storm the plane, but after Pakistan intervened, the Taliban suddenly surrounded the plane with men and armored vehicles and forbade an Indian attack." As the hijackers left Kandahar airport accompanied by the prisoners whose release they'd won, the Taliban promised India that they wouldn't be given asylum, and would have to leave Afghanistan within 10 hours. Then again, the Taliban periodically say Osama Bin Laden's left, too.


    Your prediction would have become true, had commando action initiated by India. Are you not happy "All is well when end is well"?



      neither it has ended well as far as indians are concerned nor all is well. murderers of rupin katyal have gone scot free.

      the rest is of course analysis of 'Time' and not me.


        One thing that Pak journalists will never learn is the professionalism as Indian journalists damn. It’s not like I have a close relationship with Taliban guys, but hey this is too much, and the way Indian Gov. is ridiculing this stupidly-planed drama is even worse, don’t you even respect the innocent ppl who have lost their lives for nothing?

        How could Indian troops successively storm the plane in Afghan, they failed to do in India hai na? And the reasons for not doing the same in India were?
        So you wanted to enter Afghan with your troops? Hey its Taliban we’re talking about remember!
        As for the hijackers I doubt if we’ll ever hear about them again.

        Ps. I hate to post such ’propaganda-like’ replies, but you should stop blaming others for what was your own Gov. planed failure


          Either way these people would not have been satisfied. We would have had a barage of interesting conspiracies, here are a few, should have things gone differently:

          1) Katyal, the stabbed passenger taken to a hospital in Lahore, dies on the operating bed. Pakistani DOCTORS are blamed for his death, assisted by the ISI.

          2) Indian troops storm the plane, 20 passengers are killed by hijackers and 2 hijackers shot. India blames the Taliban for not assisting in the effort or providing timely information about the hijackers arms.

          3) Taliban arrest the hijackers and wish to try them in Afghanistan for the death of the hostage. India media initiates a barrage of attacks against the Taliban, claiming the trial will not be a fair one, and the hijackers should be extradited to India.

          Need I go on...these idiots are fuming at the mouth because the crisis ended peacefully. They'd be equally pissed if people were killed left and right. The bottom line is that they are hateful and wish to condemn Islam and Pakistan at every opportunity they can get. I don't go out of my way to attack any religion or people, the way they attack mine.




            Your anger and calling Indians hateful does not change anything. We are angry because the hijackers were Pakistanis and they belong to the religious organization that preaches hatred aganist Indians (non-muslims) and have support of Government of Pakistan.

            India has been and continues to be targeted by the Muslim organization in Pakistan which actively recruit members for terriorist activities inside India with the blessing of the Government.

            P.S. Your reason for (Pakistan)letting Mr Katyal bleed to death is out of line, civilized nations don't let an innocent person bleed to death because of some imaginary or percieved trouble in future.


              Rani - "Your anger and calling Indians hateful does not change anything."

              I never called Indians hateful - I don't generalize like you and your friends. I called YOU hateful!

              Rani - "We are angry because the hijackers were Pakistanis and they belong to the religious organization that preaches hatred aganist Indians (non-muslims) and have support of Government of Pakistan."

              This is speculation with no proof! If you have a problem with a particular 'religious organization' (which if you open your eyes is political, more so than it is religious, religion legitimizes their political aspirations and provides the morale necessary to continue their struggle) condemn that organization, NOT ISLAM AS A WHOLE.

              Rani - "India has been and continues to be targeted by the Muslim organization in Pakistan which actively recruit members for terriorist activities inside India with the blessing of the Government."

              Agreed, your oppressive military troops in Indian occupied Kashmir are targets of a Pakistani state sponsored liberation movement. Maybe you should ask your government to desist from its policies of oppression in Kashmir. If you were such a humanitarian, you would condemn the violence in Kashmir and recognize that it is a two-front war.


              P.S. I NEVER said anyone should let Katyal bleed to must have misunderstood me.


                Achtang wrote .....have a problem with a particular 'religious organization' (which if you open your eyes is political, more so than it is religious, religion legitimizes their political aspirations and provides the morale necessary to continue their struggle) condemn that organization, NOT ISLAM AS A WHOLE.


                In the 1994 interview Azhar had hinted at the infusion by Pakistan of foreign mercenaries in Jammu and Kashmir. ****``Soldiers of Islam have come from 12 countries to liberate Kashmir. Our organisation has nothing to do with politics. We fight for religion. We do not believe in concept of nations. We want Islam to rule the world.''****

                As you can see the struggle is take over the Kaffirs and their land, it is a religious fight not a political one.

                I have visited Kashmir many times before the proxy war and found to be very peaceful with complete religious and cultural freedom accorded to its people. If you care for the people of Kashmir stop the proxy war. The people of Kashmir have many times said that they don't want terriorists from Pakistan on their land. Pakistan's interest in Kashmir is purely for land grab any other reason is just an eye-wash.

                [This message has been edited by Rani (edited January 03, 2000).]


                  Jan. 12, 2000, 6:23PM

                  Houston Chronicle Editorial: Despite help ending hijacking, too early to laud Taliban

                  Afghanistan's Taliban militia received much positive recognition for its help in negotiating a resolution to the Christmas Eve hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane. But too much praise is heaped on this brutal regime for a single righteous act; let us not forget the Taliban's terrible record on human rights and international terrorism.

                  The eight-day ordeal ended after India released three militants in exchange for the hostages, but not before the hijackers diverted the plane to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, apparently because they expected Taliban support. And no wonder. The militia, which now controls some 80 percent of Afghanistan, has shown itself to be a haven for terrorists. What was surprising was that the Taliban publicly condemned the hijacking and threatened to storm the plane if more hostages were killed after the hijackers stabbed one passenger to death.

                  What is less surprising is that French passengers are saying the hijackers appeared to receive new weapons when the plane landed in Kandahar.

                  The world should not assume that the Taliban has changed its stripes simply because it chose to act as a go-between for the Indian government and the hijackers -- four from Pakistan, which is one of only three countries that have diplomatic ties with the Taliban, and one from Afghanistan. If nothing else, the Taliban's decision to act as mediator probably was a calculated move to soften world opinion. The world should not be swayed so easily.

                  The Taliban forbids most education of girls and women, prohibits their working outside the home and does not even allow women to walk about except in the company of a close male relative.

                  The regime sanctions terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan and last year refused to hand over Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, who the United States contends masterminded the August 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 227 people. The standoff led the United Nations to impose sanctions on Afghanistan in October.

                  The Taliban militia, furthermore, is blamed for its support of the separatist war in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

                  In fact, it is the radical Islamic group Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen that is believed to be behind the hijacking. These militants have been on the U.S. terrorist list since 1997 for their alleged role in various kidnappings of Westerners in India, yet they operate freely inside Afghanistan.

                  There is still much evil for which the Taliban must answer. To shine a more flattering light on the themselves will take more than playing intermediary during a hijacking that the regime's own coddling of terrorists encourages.


           Indians always complain. LOL

                    Fata Morgana



                      The Taliban's "Hospitality"
                      The Skyjacking to Kandahar as Image Polishing

                      Bernard Imhasly

                      The skyjacking of an Indian airliner to Afghanistan over Christmas may have protected the hijackers from a storming of the aircraft by an Indian anti-terrorism unit. The Taliban used the skyjacking as an occasion on which to show themselves as "honest brokers" in the subsequent negotiations, in an attempt to break out of the international isolation into which the Islamic student warriors have maneuvered themselves.

                      The hijacking of an Indian airliner and the week-long holding of its passengers and crew hostage in Kandahar over the Christmas period created one loser, the Indian government, and two winners, the hijackers and the Taliban. The Islamic students, who have dominated about 85 percent of Afghanistan's territory since 1997 but are quarantined by the international community because of their inhumane policies, used the st*****ng of the abducted aircraft in their stronghold of Kandahar to present themselves to the world as honest brokers. On Christmas Day they were suddenly confronted with an act of international piracy, when the Indian Airbus landed on a Kandahar runway. Despite some initial confusion, which may be ascribed to their ideological proximity to the hijackers, the Taliban quickly adjusted to the situation.

                      "Un-Islamic" Demands
                      Throughout the affair, Pakistan vacillated unconvincingly between standing on the sidelines and officially cooperating to bring the incident to an end. But the Taliban performed a balancing act which brought them the esteem of India, UN diplomats and some other countries, but at the same time did not violate the hijackers' trust. At first the Taliban wanted nothing to do with the whole affair and ordered the skyjackers to leave Afghanistan. In fact, on the first day of the abduction, they foiled an attempted landing in Kabul. On the second day, when most of the leaders involved in the affair had arrived in Kandahar, the Shura - Afghan society's traditional council of elders - under the chairmanship of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, decided that the act of piracy was unacceptable. The Taliban then invited India to take over the negotiations, and threatened to storm the plane if screams or sounds of shooting were heard. Nonetheless, the Taliban managed to retain the confidence of the hostage takers. It was they who assured the hijackers that no Indian commando unit would suddenly appear at the entrances to the aircraft.
                      When the Taliban learned that the hijackers had made two new demands - a ransom of 200 million dollars and the exhumation of the body of a Kashmiri rebel shot half a year ago - they intervened in the negotiations and convinced the hostage takers that those demands were "un-Islamic," an argument which the Islamist air pirates could not counter. Once again they were asked to free the hostages or to fly on to some other place. Political asylum, said Taliban Foreign Minister Mutawakil, was out of the question. Ultimately, the scaling back of the hijackers' demands cleared the way for a compromise to which India could agree and which ended the week-long incarceration of the hostages.

                      No Monolithic Leadership
                      The Taliban's tough but conciliatory stance toward people who may themselves have been trained in Afghanistan as "holy warriors" undoubtedly had overarching political motives. It was certainly aimed at easing the regime's international isolation. They persist in their inhumane practices with regard to human rights in general and women in particular, and still offer their hospitality to the presumed Saudi terrorist Osama bin Ladin. But it is clear that their diplomatic isolation - the Kabul regime is recognized only by the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - and the UN economic embargo are increasingly hurting the Taliban rather than strengthening them.
                      Their surprisingly flexible behavior during this latest skyjacking drama gave further evidence that the Taliban are not quite the monolithic power elite of religious fanatics that most Western portraits make them appear. Even before the hostage taking, there were increasing signs that a more moderate faction was exerting its influence at the leadership level, pushing informally for an easing of Kabul's harsh social policies without making a public fuss about it. In some Afghan cities, girls again have access to schooling and there have been official statements that the Taliban are willing to discuss issues of education policy. Also informally, there has been a resumption of cooperation with foreign aid groups, giving them narrowly circumscribed but significant latitude in employing women and launching projects concerned specifically with women's affairs.

                      These trends are being followed with mistrust by more radical forces, which still enjoy the support of the supreme Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. Representatives of aid groups in Kabul maintain that the UN sanctions which went into effect in mid-November have generated a reaction of defiance which is actually strengthening the hand of these radical elements. The recent skyjacking, on the other hand, may have had the opposite effect, handing moderate leaders associated with Mullah Rabbani in Kabul - including Foreign Minister Mutawakil - an argument about how their country's international isolation could be overcome, along the lines of: "We can show the world that it needs a certain minimum of cooperation from us and that the isolation of Afghanistan ultimately harms not only our country but also the international community."

                      This argument was bound to have an impact within the Taliban leadership, partly because the UN embargo is increasingly restricting vital support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. That became evident in recent weeks, when the freeze on Pakistani wheat deliveries suddenly raised the specter of famine in Afghanistan.

                      A Setup?
                      There is also, however, another way to interpret the latest hostage affair, based on thorough distrust of the Taliban. In fact, from this perspective they can be regarded as co-conspirators. The South Asian stereotype of Afghanis consists mainly of two traits: hospitality and slyness. The Taliban demonstrated their hospitality by supplying the inmates of the hijacked aircraft with food and drink. But could it be that the hostage takers were also "guests," in the same sense that Osama bin Ladin is? Officially, the Taliban want nothing to do with the man; they claim to be merely obeying tribal law, which prescribes that protection be extended to every guest. They may have been following the same principle with regard to the hijackers, for in that situation, too, some things simply did not add up.
                      After Foreign Minister Mutawakil convinced the abductors to drop two of their demands, he indicated that it was now up to India to demonstrate the same flexibility and accede to the hijackers' demand for the release of 36 prisoners. That may have been the act of an honest broker. But, say some Indian skeptics, perhaps the whole thing was a setup, in which the Taliban told the hijackers to deliberately ratchet up their demands in order to then appear flexible by backing down, providing an effective argument with which to pressure India to also be "reasonable." If that was the plan, it worked perfectly: the abductors achieved the release of their imprisoned colleagues, and the Taliban ended up looking like reliable people with whom it is possible to deal.