February 2000 News

Intelligence agencies anticipate bigger flare-ups

14 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has planned a "special" review meeting on Jammu and Kashmir this week. A message, in this regard, has been conveyed to the Home Minister, Mr LK Advani, during his unscheduled interaction with Mr Vajpayee.

Mr Advani’s 40-minute session with the Prime Minister took place after the former’s meeting with the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, in the capital.

A Ministerial source told EXCELSIOR that Mr Vajpayee’s decision to hold another round of high-level parleys on how to knock out the militants and insurgents in Jammu and Kashmir had been the outcome of a set of intelligence inputs furnished to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) in recent days.

Both the organisations-the RAW and the IB-have reportedly referred to the "growing possibility" of bigger flare-ups not only in the Valley but also in certain pockets of the Jammu province in the coming days and weeks. The intelligence agencies are also reported to have made a reference to what has been termed as the "most alarming feature" of the situation "arising from the increase in the number of non-Muslim agents for Pakistan in Jammu region, including the Jammu district, in the past two years as a result of undetected heavy funding by the ISI operatives".

Equally alarming feature of the situation, the Cabinet Secretariat has been informed, relates to the "hidden agenda" of the Pakistani ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) to bring about changes in the prevailing demographic character of the Jammu province by engineering a substantial increase in the number of Muslim residents, particularly in the vicinity of Jammu, by offering encouraging sums of money for the residential properties owned by the members of a particular community in certain pockets.

The Intelligence Bureau, for example, has reportedly made a pointed reference to the subtle campaign launched by a particular category of Pakistani agents in the Jammu town, which is aimed at enhancing the level of fear and panic among Hindu residents with regard to the shape of events to come. Government sleuths have come across reports, making it clear that in response to unpublished messages from across the border, a number of Muslims have, in recent days, intensified the search for more residential premises and plots of land for their co-religionists not only in the vicinity of Jammu but also in Nagrota, Samba, Vijaypur, Bishnah, RS Pora. Suchetgarh, Marh and Akhnoor.

This aspect of the situation came under discussion the Home Minister, Mr LK Advani, had with higher-ups in his Ministry on Saturday, before Mr TR Kakkar, Special Secretary (J&K affairs), was directed to proceed to Jammu to assess the situation following two massive blasts in which at least 10 people got killed. The Director of the Intelligence Bureau was also invited by Mr Advani for "necessary consultations" on reports suggesting the existence of more than a dozen underground cells of anti-India subversives in the Jammu district alone. Two of these cells, according to reports, have been allotted the territorial jurisdiction from Bohri to Jammu railway station.

Significantly, at a time when certain quarters across the border are carrying on a refrain that Kashmir could become a flash-point for nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan and Pakistan is openly soliciting international mediation in Kashmir, intelligence reports have also warned that there will be no lack of recruits or non-availability of sophisticated arms and explosives for anti-India elements in J&K. These reports, in fact, have made a pointed reference to the preparations across the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) for pushing into Indian territory battle-trained and battle-hardened foreign mercenaries at an opportune time to assist hundreds of Pakistan-aided ultras already operating in the State.

Intelligence reports have also made a specific reference to the "well-managed passage" of heavy calibre weapons into various areas of Jammu province in the past some weeks. These weapons include 81 mm mortars, sophisticated rocket propelled grenades, the latest range of Kalashnikov rifles, newer types of improvised explosive devices with electronic switches, and state-of-the-art communication equipment.

Recent evidence has confirmed that batches of mercenaries have been brainwashed with stories of alleged atrocities against Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir before they were sent to the Indian side of the border to carry out jehad against India. There is no denying that threats to security in Jammu have suddenly accumulated, with the stepped-up subversive intrusion into the area by the ISI.


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