January 2000 News

Govt. expects ISI to exploit religious passions in J&K

29 January 2000
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI, Jan 29: Fresh instructions have been sent to the Army, paramilitary forces, police and intelligence agencies in Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting the need for effective preventive measures against Pakistani ISI's plan envisaging selective killing of civilians, mostly Hindus, in different areas of the State, particularly in Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur and Doda districts.

The Union Home Ministry has, in fact, called for coordinated action by various security agencies in order to abort the ISI's plan in this regard. Instructions have also been dashed off, calling for the intensification of measures to check cross-border infiltration and arms smuggling.

These instructions have also been necessitated by reports about the clandestine entry into Poonch district alone of more than 500 militants and not less than 200 trained foreign mercenaries in the past two weeks.

The distressing aspect of the anti-Indian activity in the coming days, according to intelligence specialists, will be the militants' attempt to exploit the communal situation and religious passions of the people in areas which were hitherto unaffected by the communal virus.

Home Ministry sources disclosed that a new pattern is emerging in the activities of the ISI, which is now concentrating on exploiting the communal situation not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in some other parts of the country. The strategy, it is pointed out, is part of the larger plan to spread Islamic fundamentalism and widen the Hindu-Muslim divide.

These sources admit that tentacles of the ISI have reached `safe areas' in all parts of the country where "sleeping" militants are being reactivated for subversive activities. Recent evidence has confirmed that batches of mercenaries are brainwashed with stories of alleged atrocities against Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir and then sent across the border to carry out jihad against India.

At a time when Pakistan's military leadership has been found sponsoring the propaganda against the alleged Indian atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims, Amnesty International has expressed itself against attacks on minority Hindu community in Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, the London-based human rights watch dog has charged Islamic militants in the State with targeting the community.

Amnesty International, in its report, has regretted that innocent civilians were being targeted for no fault of their's and called for the appointment of an independent inquiry to fix responsibility for killings. The report says: "There is evidence that Pakistan has provided men, training and military support to some groups seeking accession of Kashmir to Pakistan". The report, at the same time, said that officials in Islamabad had denied it.

According to the report, trained Islamic fighters from a range of Muslim countries including Sudan and Afghanistan, believing themselves to be "holy warriors", engaged in some of the most brutal abuses, especially targeting the Hindu community. The report said that many observers believed that the so-called struggle in Jammu and Kashmir had undergone a significant change with the entry of foreign militants into the Valley.

Stating that Afghans, Sudanese and Egyptians are far more deadly in their operations than locals and targeting innocent civilians is easy for them, the report maintained: "The complexion of militancy has undergone a serious change, It is no longer an urban phenomenon. Foreign militants have come to dominate terrorist brigades".


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