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Pakistan News Service, December 28, 1999

Nepal dismisses Indian charges : FP

KATHMANDU (Agencies) - Nepal Foreign Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said Monday good security was maintained at the international airport where a hijacked Indian Airlines jet began its flight. He also told a press conference some of the hostages onboard the plane included family members of Kathandu-based Indian diplomats.

"Our security arrangements are as good as those of any of the international airports," he said, adding however, an investigation had been ordered. Mahat also denied the four Pakistani hijackers boarded the Indian Airlines flight directly after arriving on a flight from Pakistan.

"We deny that the hijackers boarded the IA-814 flight directly at the Kathmandu airport from the PIA (Pakistan International Airways) aircraft.
We would not believe this unless it is confirmed by the investigation team," he said.

Two of the Nepalese hostages were from the UNDP offices in Kathmandu and Islamabad, Mahat said. An Indian diplomatic source in Kathmandu gave the names of the hijackers as Ahmed Sheikh, S.A. Qazi, Ibrahim Mistry, Sayed Akhtar Sayed, all Pakistanis, and Gajendra Man Tamrakar, a Nepali. Mahat denied any Nepali citizen was involved. Islamabad also expressed surprise over the latest twist in the Indian propaganda against Pakistan. It said first New Delhi-released list did not include names of any Pakistanis on board the hijacked plane.


Pakistan News Service, January 25, 2000

Nepal finds no Pakistan link to hijack

KATHMANDU (FP) - An investigation into the hijacking of an Indian Airlines jet from here on Christmas Eve has found no evidence to back allegations the Pakistani secret service was involved, Nepalese sources close to the inquiry said Monday.

"The probe has failed to collect any solid proof of involvement by the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) in the hijacking,"
one investigation source said. But the head of the five-member investigation committee, Hem Bahadur Singh, declined to comment to reporters on whether the ISI was involved.

"We have wrapped up the security and other matters in the report," said Singh, a former police inspector general.

In a 64-page document to Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Vijaya Kumar Gachheddar, the investigators recommended the government beef up security at Tribhuvan International Airport, where the hijacking started.

"After presenting the report to the cabinet on Thursday, I will reveal the gist of the contents of the investigations made by the special five-man committee," Singh said. The eight-day hijack drama, which began when five men seized the flight from Nepal to New Delhi, ended News Year's Eve at Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan.

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