Update to PAK33191.E of 18 November 1999 regarding the Pakistan government's position on political groups that advocate independence for Kashmir [PAK40411.E]

Several articles reported that political parties were protesting Pakistan's refusal to accept the nomination papers of pro-independence candidates in the 5 July 2001 general election to the Kashmir Assembly (The Hindu 8 June 2001; The Daily Excelsior 1 June 2001; Rediff.com 17 May 2001). The Pakistan government reportedly made it obligatory for candidates in the elections to declare their support for accession of Indian Kashmir to Pakistan (ibid.). The chairman of the Pakistan-based Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Amanullah Khan, was reported to have stated that "the introduction of the pro-accession clause was tantamount to keeping 40 'pro-independence' candidates away from contesting the elections" (ibid.).

The nomination papers of 21 JKLF candidates for the election were rejected because they refused to adhere to the accession provision and instead intended to run on a platform of complete independence for Kashmir (Pakistan Newswire 7 June 2001; Press Trust of India 3 July 2001). A number of JKLF members, including Sardar Mohammad Saghir, advocate head of the political committee of the JKLF, Sardar Anwar, Sardar Asghar and Sardar Mansoor, were reportedly arrested for protesting the rejection of candidates' nomination papers (Pakistan Newswire 7 June 2001). Further, a 3 July 2001 article reported that the chief of the JKLF, Amanullah Khan, was arrested on 3 July 2001 in Khotli, Kashmir Khan was reportedly arrested when he led a protest against the rejection of nomination papers (Press Trust of India 3 July 2001).

Fourteen leaders of the All Parties National Alliance (APNA), a "conglomerate of 13 political parties" in Kashmir, Gilgit and Balistan, Pakistan (Daily Excelsior 21 June 2001), were reportedly detained by Islamabad police during a protest against a ban on the weekly publication K-2, as well as against the abolition of State Subject Rules from Gilgit-Baltistan, and the appointment of non-Kashmiri people to the Azad Kashmir Accountability Bureau (Dawn 25 Feb. 2001). A protest letter sent to General Musharraf by the United Kingdom-based branch of the APNA, stated that the arrests were in "'blatant disregard' for the basic human rights of those fighting for an independent Kashmir comprising Gilgit and Baltistan" (The Hindu 24 Feb. 2001). The fourteen were subsequently released (Dawn 25 Feb. 2001).

For further information on the banning of the K-2, please refer to PAK37181.E of 26 June 2001.

Several articles reported that the government was cracking down on extremist groups operating in both Pakistan generally and Kashmir specifically as a response to the attack on the Indian parliament on 13 December 2001 (The Philippine Daily Inquirer 14 Jan. 2002; ibid. 13 Jan. 2002; The Observer 6 Jan. 2002; The Washington Post 5 Jan. 2002; ibid. 28 May 2002.). As part of its crackdown, the government had reportedly confiscated the bank accounts and arrested many of the leaders of two groups accused of organizing the attack (The Washington Post 5 Jan. 2002) The groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, were described as "two of the most hardline militant groups fighting Indian troops in the troubled Himalayan region" (The Philippine Daily Inquirer 14 Jan. 2002).

Despite the crackdown, a January 2002 article reported that President Musharraf had stated that the Pakistani government "would never compromise its support for the Kashmiris' struggle against Indian rule" (Daily News 17 Jan. 2002). Musharraf was further quoted as stating that "'we will continue to support the just freedom struggle of Kashmiris politically, diplomatically and morally'" (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


The Daily Excelsior [Jammu]. 21 June 2001. "Pak's Dual Policy on Kashmir Exposed." http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/01june21/news.htm [Accessed 4 Feb. 2003]

The Daily News [Colombo]. 17 January 2002. "Pakistani President Vows No Compromise on Kashmir." http://origin.dailynews.lk/2002/01/17/wor02.html [Accessed 18 Jan. 2002]

Dawn [Karachi]. 25 February 2001. "14 APNA Leaders Released." http://www.dawn.com/2001/02/25/nat20.htm [Accessed 4 Feb. 2003]

The Hindu [New Delhi]. 8 June 2001. B. Muralidhar Reddy. "JKLF Kept Off PoK Polls." http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2001/06/08/stories/01080007.htm [Accessed 4 Feb. 2003]

_____. 24 February 2001. Hasan Suroor. "U.K.-Based Kashmiri Groups Protest Rights Violations in Pak." http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2001/02/24/stories/03240002.htm [Accessed 4 Feb. 2003]

The Observer [London]. 6 January 2002. Muzamil Jaleel. "Crackdown Offers Hopes of Peace." http://www.observer.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4330055,00.html [Accessed 31 Jan. 2003]

Pakistan Newswire. 7 June 2001. "Elections: Aman Ullah Prostests Rejection of Nominations of JKLF Nominees." (NEXIS)

The Philippine Daily Inquirer [Manila]. 14 January 2002. Rana Jawad. "Pakistan Rounds Up Over 1,200 Alleged Extremists." http://www.inq7.net/wnw/2002/jan/15/wnw_4-1.htm [Accessed 31 Jan. 2003]

_____. 13 January 2002. "India Skeptic [sic] of Pakistan's Crackdown on Extremism." http://www.inq7.net/wnw/2002/jan/14/wnw_1-1.htm [Accessed 31 Jan. 2003]

The Press Trust of India. 3 July 2001. "Pro-Independence Kashmiri Leader Arrested." (NEXIS)

Rediff.com. 17 May 2001. K.J.M Varma. "JKLF Questions Pakistan Over Accession Clause in PoK Poll Papers." http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/may/17jk.htm [Accessed 4 Feb. 2003]

The Washington Post. 28 May 2002. Sharon LaFraniere and Rajiv Chandrasekaran. "Musharraf Pledges to Rein In Militants." http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A18606- 2002May27?language=printer [Accessed 31 Jan. 2003]

_____. 5 January 2002. Craig Whitlock. "Pakistan Arrests Scores of Islamic Radicals; Crackdown Targets 4 Groups, Including 2 Accused in Attack on Indian Parliament." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases


Internet sites, including:


Daily Excelsior


Kashmir Calling

Kashmir Observer


South Asia Terrorism Portal

The Times of India

The Tribune

World News Connection

Search engine: