Kashmir Portal

A digital Kashmir Info Network

(2000) Indian Airlines Hijacking Drama Has Ended

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 11, 2009

INFORMATION TIMES: http://www.informationtimes.com
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For latest news reports about Pakistan and other South Asian nations, please subscribe to and read the Pakistan Journal, a free daily newsletter of the Information Times. Pakistan Journal Website: http://www.egroups.com/group/pakistanjournal ]

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, December 31, 1999 (VOA): The hijackers of an Indian airliner parked in Kandahar, have freed the 155 passengers held hostage aboard the plane for a week. The release comes after India’s Foreign Minister arrived in Afghanistan with three Islamic political prisoners – meeting part of the hijackers demands, VOA’s Scott Anger reports.

The hijackers have left the Indian Airlines passenger plane in Kandahar, peacefully ending the eight day standoff. The gunmen climbed down from the plane and were quickly taken to an undisclosed location by Taleban authorities.

Three Muslim political prisoners, [Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmad Omar Sayed Sheikh, the leaders of the Kashmiri freedom fighters] who accompanied Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh to Afghanistan, have also been released as part of the settlement.

The hijackers had been demanding the release of 36 jailed Kashmiri freedom fighters in exchange for the hostages.

Taleban officials have made it clear that the hijackers will not be allowed to stay in Afghanistan. The hard-line Islamic movement has denied any involvement in the incident.

The plane was hijacked on December 24th while on a scheduled flight from Nepal to New Delhi. After stopping in India, Pakistan and United Arab Emirates, the plane landed in Kandahar on December 25, 1999.

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Hindu-Indian Regime Exchanges 3 Political Prisoners For 155 Civilian Prisoners
NEW DELHI, India, December 31, 1999 (VOA):
India has freed three jailed Islamic freedom fighters, including a Pakistani-born scholar, in exchange for the release of 155 hostages who have been held for one week on board an Indian Airlines plane in Kandahar, Afghanistan. India’s Foreign Minister will escort the hostages back to New Dehi where they are expected to arrive at about 15 hours 30 GMT. VOA’s Jim Teeple has more from the Indian capital.

Three Islamic freedom fighters were taken from Indian jails under tight security and flown to Kandahar onboard a plane with India’s Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh. India’s National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, who announced the deal, says what happens to the hijackers will be left to Taleban authorities in Afghanistan.

MISHRA: “The hijackers are in Afghanistan, the Taleban will deal with them.”

The hijackers killed one passenger during the week long crisis. Their original demand for the release of Pakistani-born scholar Maulana Masood Azhar and two Kashmiri freedom fighters has now been met.

[Publisher: Information Times, America’s daily international newspaper, Washington, DC, U.S.A. – E-Mail: infotimes@… – InfoTimes Website: http://www.informationtimes.com ]

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