Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, brought India to its knees in 1999 when they hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814, also known as IC 814, or the Kandahar incident in Indian airspace. To end the hijacking, the Indian government, led by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, surrendered to terrorists and promised to allow three rebel fighters who subsequently planned and carried the 9/11 attacks, the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, and the 2006 Mumbai terrorist incidents.

IC 814 which took off from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal and landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on December 24, 1999.
On board, there were 176 passengers and 15 crew members. The pilot in Command was Captain Devi Sharan, and the primary flight attendant was Anil Sharma. 20 mins into the flight, 5 masked men entered with guns out of which, one of the five terrorists threatened to attack the jet with a bomb and took control of the flight. He instructed the flight to be flown in a series of locations: Amritsar, Lahore, across the Persian gulf To Dubai. Four additional men in red masks stood up and took places across the plane, holding 191 passengers captive.

Captain Devi Sharan was ordered by the hijackers to divert the plane over Lucknow and towards Lahore but due to low fuel they had to land in Amritsar. Armed Punjab police officers were ready to storm the plane when it landed in Amritsar, but the Crisis Management Group in Delhi told them not to since it didn’t want any fatalities.
The hijacked plane left Amritsar without loading up on gasoline, forcing a crash landing in Lahore.
Officials at the Lahore airport fueled up the plane and allowed it to depart.

The aircraft then took off for Dubai where 27 hostages were freed by the terrorist.
The hijackers then ordered the aircraft to be flown to Kandahar, Afghanistan which was at that time in the control of the Taliban. Taliban terrorists encircled the aircraft as it arrived in Kandahar.
The release of three jihadists — Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and Maulana Masood Azhar – were demanded by the terrorists.

With no other choice, then-Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh and the three jihadists travelled to Kandahar.
The liberated captives were flown back on a private plane on December 31, 1999.

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